Skip to main content

Full text of "The Dutch and Quaker colonies in America"

See other formats

tsj^yl^i^^ -''^ 

^^~-. r 

iHr. B&W& ^tfitorical SMortis, 

THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA, with some account of 

Ancient America and the Spanish Conquest. With Maps. 

20^/i Tho2isa)id. 2 vols, crown 8vo, $4.00. 

Thonsa}id. 2 vols, crown 8vo, $4.00. 

Puritan Theocracy in its Relations to Civil and Religious 

Liberty. 22d Thousand. Crown 8vo, $2.00. 
Ilhistrated Edition. Containing Portraits, Maps, Facsimiles, 

Contemporary Views, Prints, and other Historic Materials. 

Svo, $4.00. 
ICA. With 8 Maps. 2 vols, crown 8vo, $4.00. 

vols, crown Svo, $4.00. 
Illustrated Edition. Containing Portraits, Maps, Facsimiles, 

Contemporary Views, Prints, and other Historic Materials. 

2 vols. Svo, $8.00. 

1783-1789. soth Thojisand. Crown Svo, ^2.00. 
Illustrated Edition. Containing Portraits, Maps, Facsimiles, 

Contemporary Views, Prints, and other Historic Materials. 

Svo, 54.00. 
THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE. In Riverside Library 

for Young People. 4bth TJionsand. i6mo, 75 cents. 

With Topical Analysis, Suggestive Questions, and Directions 

for Teachers, by P'rank A. Hii,l. r2mo, |.i.oo, net. 

Considered WITH some Reference to its Origins. Crown 

Svo, $1.00, net. 

For Mr. Fiske''s Historical and Philosophical Works and 
Essays, see pages at the back of Volnnie II. 

Boston and New York. 


point of Universal History. i2mo 
Brothers, New York. 

iewed from the Stand- 
%i.oo. Harper & 

VdSCOnh be A^loUo COnpOSu^ l^anc cnrfa-rn 


/iparc ^nbicuTT) 




M arc Occ a n ixrn. 


'^ >T^ 

\ \ 

N .^ .> / ^ 



:^ ^^ 



]n]aTiuaanno^nj T^ljbie X>CTiece.nhvis 

/ir)are ^nbicuTT). 


% I 




\ \ 


Marc Oceanum. 







Nieuiv Nederlant is een seer scJioon aenge7iaein gesont eit histigh lantschafi 
daer het voor alderley slagh van 7nenschc7t betcr en rityiner aen de kost 
of gemackelycker door de iverelt te gerakeit is als in Nederla7it offte 
eetiige andere quartieren des werelts niijft bekent. 

Adrian van der Donck:, 1656. 

For I must needs tell you^ if we miscarry it will be our own fault ; we 
have nobody else to blame ; for s:ich is tJie happiness of diir Co7i$titutioti, 
that we cannot well be destroyed but by ourselves. 

William Penn, 1679. 



(Cbe 0ibcrgitic JSre??, Cambridge 









In the general sequence of my volumes on 
American history, the present work comes next 
after " The Beginnings of New England," which 
in turn comes next after " Old Virginia and Her 
JSTeiffhbours." It will be observed that these books 
leave the history of New England at the overthrow 
of James II., while they carry that of the southern 
and middle colonies, with some diminution of de- 
tails, into the reigns of the first two Georges. It 
is my purpose, in my next book, to deal with the 
rise and fall of New France, and the development 
of the English colonies as influenced by the pro- 
longed struggle with that troublesome and danger- 
ous neighbour. With this end in view, the history 
of New England must be taken up where the 
earlier book dropped it, and the history of New 
York resumed at about the same time, while by 
degrees we shall find the histories of Pennsylvania 
and the colonies to the south of it swept into the 
main stream of Continental history. That book 
will come down to the year 1765, which witnessed 
the ringing out of the old and the ringing in of 


the new, — the one with Pontiac's War, the other 
with the Stamp Act. I hope to have it ready in 
about two years from now. 

In connection with the present work I have to 
express my thanks especially to my friend. Colonel 
William Leete Stone, for several excellent sugges- 
tions, and for procuring for me a beautiful set of 
the " Records of New Amsterdam," edited by Mr. 
Berthold Fernow ; and likewise to Mr. James 
Roberts, the State Comptroller, for a similar set 
of the " Colonial Laws of New York." 
Cambridge, May-day, 1899. 





F^nelou's remark about Amsterdam i 

Significance of the fact that New York is the daughter of 
Amsterdam . ........ 2 

Kinship between the English and Dutch peoples ... 3 

Dutchland and Welshland 4 

Belgians and Batavians 5 

Flemish and Frankish speech 6 

The Frisians as heathen 7 

The Frisians as Christians 8 

Lotharingia, the Middle Kingdona ..... 9 

Lorraine 10 

The Crusades ; feudal states in the Low Countries . .11 
Political circumstances which favoured the Netherlands . 12 
Favourable mdustrial circumstances . . . • .13 

Agriculture ; dikes and canals 13, 14 

Horticulture and manufactures ...... 15 

The fine arts 16 

Scholarship .......... 17 

Erasmus .......... 18 

Dutch literature 18 

The Bible in the Netherlands 18 

Public schools ......... 19 

Urban and rural population . . . . . . 19, 20 

Modern features of the mediaeval Netherlands . . 20, 21 
Political development in England ..... 21 

Contrast in the j)olitical development of the Netherlands . 22 

The guilds 22 

The local lords ; the overlords . . . o . . 23 
The disaster of Roosebeke in 1382 24 



Philip the Good, and Cliarles the Bold 
Lady Mary and the Great Privilege . 
Philip of Austria .... 
Charles V. . 
Dutch and Flemish liberties in danger 

. 25 


. 27 


28, 29 



Non-Engiish elements in the American people . 
Patriotic bias ; Anglophobia ...... 

Free public schools; the fallacy oi j)ost and 2)ropte7- . 
A Bohemian view ........ 

Flemings in mediaeval England ; politics and wool 
Trade between Flanders and England .... 

Immigration from the Netherlands into England 
Nethei'landers in East Anglia ..... 

Puritanism Avas especially strong in the eastern counties 

England . ........ 

The Lollards ......... 

Influence of the Netherlands upon English Puritanism 
Antagonism between priestcraft and commerce 
Some features of the revolt of the Netherlands 
The Netherlands broken in twain ..... 

Hegira of Dutch and Flemish Puritans into England 
Dutch family names anglicized ..... 

Migration of Flemish Protestants into Holland . 
Growth of the Dutch provinces at the expense of 


Relations of the Low Countries with Portugal . 
Death of Don Sebastian ; seizure of Portugal by Spain 

The Dutch in the East Indies 

How they introduced tea and coffee into Europe . 
The Dutch in the Moluccas, and in Australasia 

The affair of Amboyna 

The Dutch in Brazil 

Arctic explorations ; Linsehoten and Barendz 
Antarctic voyages, and discovery of Cape Horn 

. 31 

32, 33 

33, 34 

. 36 





42, 43 

. 44 


. 46 



. 48 


. 49 


. 51 


53, 54 







The Newfoundland fisheries 58 

The voyage of Dieppe sailors in 1508 . . . . .59 
Giovanni da Verrazano, the Florentine .... 60 

He visits a " new land " in 1524 61 

And stands " between two boundless seas " ... 62 

The Sea of Verrazano ........ 63 

He visits the harbour of New York ..... 64 

And finds a " port of refuge " in Narragansett Bay . . 65 
He sees the peaks of the White Mountains, and turns his 

prow seaward from the mouth of Penobscot River . 66 

His letter to Francis I. . . . . . . . .67 

He is captured by Spaniards and hanged .... 68 

The voyage of Estevan Gomez in 1525 ., . . . ,68 
The voyage of Jean AUefonsce in 1542, and the French fort 

at Albany 60 

The Norumbega question 70 

The River of the Grand Scarp 71 

Difficulties in the study of old maps .... 72, 73 

Importance of Cabo de Arenas 74, 75 

The Gastaldi map 75 

Mercator's map of 1569 76 

AUefonsce's manuscript 77 

Testimony of other maps ; probability that the " City of 

Norumbega " was a village near the site of the present 

City Hall in New York 78 

Temporary cessation of French activity on the ocean . 79 

Beginnings of English maritime enterprise ; the Muscovy 

Company 80 

Henry Hudson, the alderman of London . . . .80 
Thomas Hudson, of Mortlake ...... 81 

Thomas Hudson, of Limehouse 81 

Christopher Hudson 82 

Henry Hudson, the Navigator 82 

His first and second voyages ...... 83 

He enters the service of the Dutch East India Company 84, 85 
In his third voyage he is baffled at Nova Zembla . . SQ 
What next ? Lok's map and John Smith's letter . . 87 

The whale fishery 87 

Sun spots . , . o 88 


Hudson goes in search of the Sea of Verrazano . . 88, 89 
The Half Moon in the harhour of New York ... 89 

The Half Moon in the Catskills 90 

Indian hospitality 91 

Hudson returns to the service of the Muscovy Company . 92 
His last voyage and tragic fate ..... 92, 93 
Hudson in folk-lore 94, 95 



Significance of the year 1609 .... 

The American question in Holland 

The Calvinist or Orange party .... 

The Arminian or Republican party 

William Usselincx ...... 

Founding of the Dutch East India Company in 1601^ 
Its indifference to America ..... 

Dutch pioneers at Manhattan, 1613 

The Ordinance of 1614 

Voyage of Adrian Block 

Voyage of Cornelius May 

First appearance of the name " New Netheiland " 
Fort Nassau, and the vale of Tawasentha . 
Treaty with the Five Nations .... 

Triumph of the Orange party .... 
Petition of the Leyden Pilgrims to the States 


It is rejected hy the States General . 

By accident the Mayflower, intended for Delaware 

arrives in Cape Cod Bay .... 

Founding of the Dutch West India Company, 1621 
English claims upon the coast of North America 
John Smith's voyage to New England, 1614 . 
Thomas Dermer's voyagers, 1619-20 . 
The Council of New England .... 

A government provided for New Netherland 
Arrival of the ship New Netherland at Manhattan 
Fort Orange, on the North River 
Fort Nassau, on the South River .... 

Walloon Bay ....... 

Why England did not interfere .... 

. 96, 97 
. 98 
. 98, 99 
99, 100 
. 100 









. 105 

. 106 

. 107 

107, 108 


. 108, 109 

. 110 


110, 111 

. 112 

. 113 

. 113 

. 114 

. 115 











Accession of Frederick, Prince of Orange . 
Purchase of Manhattan by Peter Minuit, 1626 
The building- of Fort Amsterdam . . ' 
Mohawks and Mohegans .... 

Minuit's discussion with Governor Bradford 



Crushing naval defeats of the Spaniards by the Dutch 125, 126 



The English peoj^le as colonizers 

Contrast with the French ...... 

Why Huguenots did not go to New France . 
Influence of habits of self-government upon colonization 
There was no self-government in New Netherland 
Contrast with Plymouth and Virginia 

Slow growth of the Dutch colony 

The patroons ........ 

Limitations upon trade and manufactures 

Feudal features in the charter of 1629 

David de Vries, and his colony of Swandale, 1630 

Staten Island and Pavonia. ..... 


Disputes between the Company and the patroons 
Recall of Minuit ........ 

The afEair of the ship Eendragt revives the English claim 
Queen Elizabeth's doctrine .... 

What constitutes occupation of a country ? . 

Why Charles I. refrained from pressing the qxiestion 

Appointment of Van Twiller as Director General 

His portrait by the veracious Knickerbocker 

An unwelcome English visitor 

A broadside of bumpers 

True explanation of the affair 

A Dutch fortress on the Schuylkill 

Portentous growth of New England 

Mohegans in the Connecticut valley . 

Completion of Fort Good Hope 

Disputes with New England 

Plymouth men on the Connecticut River 

Troubles with the Pequots . 

The English fort at Point Saye-Brooke 






The founding- of Connecticut 153 

The Pequot war 154 

Van Twiller's chivalrous intervention .... 155 

The reason why there was so much bravado with so little 

fighting- between English and Dutch 

156, 157 



Comical notions associated with the name " Dutch " . . 158 

Silly generalizations 159 

The Athenian prejudice against Boeotians .... 160 

Irving's Knickerbocker 160 

Capture of English intruders on the Delaware River . . 161 

Growth of New Amsterdam 162 

Van Twiller's purchases of land 163 

Bibulous magnates ........ 164 

How Van Twiller was removed from office .... 165 

Arrival of William Kieft 166 

Kieft's method of governing ....... 167 

Illicit trade in peltries ; Kieft's proclamations . c , 168 
Quality of the New Netherland population .... 169 

The proposals of the patroons ...... 170 

The abolition of monopolies . . . . . . .170 

New inducements to emigration ...... 171 

English settlements on Long Island Sound .... 172 

The republic of New Haven ...... 173 

Wampum as currency . .174 

The wampum treasures of Long Island .... 175 
Advance of the English on Long Island .... 176 

The Algonquin tribes 177 

Selling fire-arms to the Iroquois ...... 178 

Kieft undertakes to tax the Algonquins . . . 178, 179 
The Raritans destroy De Vries's plantation on Staten Is- 
land 179 

Murder of Claes Smit 180 

The board of Twelve Men 180 

Reforms proposed ......... 181 

English settlers in New Netherland 182 

The Bogardus wedding ....... 182, 183 

A murder at Hackensack 183 


Arrival of Mohawk tribute-gatherers ; panic among the Al- 
gonqnins .......... 184 

Kieft's insane conduct ; massacres of Indians . . . 185 
General rising of Algonquins ..... 185, 186 

Massacre of Mrs. Hutchinson's household .... 186 

Departure of De Vries ........ 187 

John Underhill arrives upon the scene . . . .187 

And destroys the Algonquin fortress at Stamford, with a 

wholesale slaughter of Indians 188 

Peace 188 


A soldier's paternal rule. 

The hoard of Eight Men 189 

Financial necessities . . . . . . . .190 

Kieft's excise ; protest of the Eight Men .... 191 

Kieft's rudeness 192 

The Eight Men address a petition to the States General, and 
beg for self-government ...... 192-194 

Appointment of Peter Stuyvesant as Director General . 195 
Kieft's treaty with the Algonquin tribes . . . 195, 196 
Quarrels between Kieft and Bogardus .... 196-198 

Arrival of Stuyvesant ; his theory of government . . 198 
His name and family . . . . . . . .199 

His character 200 

His autocratic behaviour 200, 201 

Petition of Kuyter and Melyn for a judicial inquiry into 

Kieft's conduct 201 

Stuyvesant befriends Kieft 202 

Who attacks Kuyter and Melyn 203 

Kieft and Bogardus, Kuyter and Melyn, all sail for Holland 

in the same ship 204 

Which is wrecked on the English coast ; Kieft and Bogar- 
dus are drowned, while Kuyter and Melyn, with their 

papers, are saved 204, 205 

Stuyvesant' s board of Nine Men 205, 206 

A Director's difficulties 207 

Rensselaerwyck 207 

Feudal insubordination of Van Rensselaer . . . 208 

" Weapon right " 209 

Beverwyck and its traffic 210 


Staple right . . 210 

The Bear Island incident ....... 211 

Adrian van der Donck, the Jonkheer ..... 212 

Selling- fire-arms to the Indians ...... 212 

Insubordinate conduct of Sehlechtenhorst at Beverwyck . 213 
Stuyvesant's wrath and Sehlechtenhorst's defiance . . 214 

What the Mohawks thought of " Old Wooden Leg " . . 214 
Stuyvesant's quarrel Avith Van der Donck . . . 213 

A deadlock 216 

Return of Melyn 217 

Memorial to the States General 217, 218 

The Vertoogh^ or Remonstrance ..... 218 



How the late Lord Sherbrooke once tried to measure historic 
events with a foot rule ....... 219 

Importance of homely beginnings ..... 220 

English self-government 221, 222 

Differences between the English and Dutch migrations . 223 
Government by a commercial company .... 224 

Spontaneous reproductiveness of English institutions . 225 

Differences between insular and continental conditions . 226 

The Dutch West India Company and the States General . 227 
Incorporation of New Amsterdam ..... 228 

Five phases of colonial growth ...... 229 

Recovery of strength after the Indian war . . . 229, 230 
Influx of sects ; polyglottism and cosmopolitanism of Man- 
hattan Island . ' 230,231 

Lutherans and Baptists ........ 232 

The Quakers ; shameful persecution of Hodshone . 233, 234 
The case of Henry Townsend ; protest of the men of Flush- 
ing ........... 234 

The glory of Flushing 235 

Stuyvesant is rebuked by the Amsterdam Chamber . . 236 

Origin of New Sweden 237 

Peter Minuit and his Swedes on the Delaware River . . 238 

Affairs of New Sweden 239 

John Printz, the ponderous governor 240 

He receives a visit from De Vries ..... 241 
Fall of New Sweden .242 




Change In the relations between England and the Nether- 
lands 243 

Government and political circumstances of the Netherlands 244 
Marriage o£ William II. to the Princess Mary . . . 246 
Schemes of William II. and Mazarin .... 246, 247 

Death of William II 247 

Proposed union between England and the Netherlands ; its 

failure 248 

The Navigation Act, and the resulting war between England 

and Holland 249 

The second and third Dutch wars 250 

Grant of Long Island to Lord Stirling . . . .251 

Affair of the San Beninio 252, 253 

Extradition of criminals between New Haven and New 

Netherland 254 

" Czar " Stuyvesant and his Nine Men 255 

Stuyvesant's visit to Hartford 256 

The treaty of Hartford, September 19, 1650 . . . 257, 258 

Wrath of the Nine Men 259 

Origin of Wall Street 259 

The excise 260, 261 

Absurd rumours as to Stuyvesant's endeavouring to incite 
the Indian tribes to a concerted attack upon the English 261 

The grain of truth 262 

Underhill's manifesto ....... 263 

He seizes Fort Good Hope 264 

Exit Underbill 265 

A panic 265, 266 

Disaffection upon Long Island ...... 267 

A popular convention, and a remonstrance . . . 267, 268 
Triumph of Stuyvesant ....... 269 

Van Dyck shoots a squaw 270 

New Amsterdam thronged with redskins .... 271 
Massacres at Hoboken, Pavonia, and Staten Island . . 271 

Conference at Esopus 272 

Bloodshed at Esopus 273, 274 

Growth of New Netherland 274 

Growth of New England 275 

Colonization of Pelham Manor 275 


The Connecticut charter, 1662 276 

English and Dutch claims 277 

The English view 278 

The Navigation Laws 279 

Sig-ns and omens ; intrig'uers ag'ainst New Netherland . . 280 

The Dutch envoys at Hartford 281 

The rise and fall of President Scott .... 282, 283 
Grant of New Netherland to the Duke of York, 1664 . ?84 
Colonel Richard Nicolls and his commission . . 284-286 
Arrival of the English fleet in the Lower Bay . . . 1-86 

New Amsterdam helpless i87 

Nicolls's letter to Winthrop ; Stuyvesant tears it to pieces, 
but Nicholas Bayard puts the x)ieces together . . . 288 

Popular murmurs 289 

On this occasion Stuyvesant's pen was not mightier than Ni- 
colls' s sword ......... 289 

Stuyvesant surrenders ....... 290 

How the Dutch took their revenge ..... 291 

Political consequences 291, 292 

Stuyvesant's visit to Holland 292 

His last years and death 292-294 


Maiollo's Map, 1527, showing Verrazano's discoveries 

From Kretschmer's Entdeching Amerilcas^ Berlin, 
1892. The original is in the Ambrosian Library at 
Part of Gastaldi's Map, made in Venice about 1550 . . 74 
From the copy engraved in Ramusio, Navigationi e 
Viaggi, Venice, 1550 ; in my library. 
Part of Mercator's Mappemonde, made in Duisburg, 1569 . 78 
From the facsimile published at Berlin, in 1891, by 
the Gesellschaft fiir Erdkunde ; in my library. 
Van der Donck's Map of New Netherland, 1656 . . .230 
From his Beschrijvinge van Nieu Nederlant, ghelijch 
het tegemvoordig in staet is, Amsterdam, 1656 ; in Har- 
vard University Library. 




" When one beholds this city," says Fenelon, in 
speaking of Amsterdam, " one is inclined to believe 
that it is not the city of a particular people, but 
the common city of all the peoples in the world, 
and the centre of their commerce." If now after 
the lapse of two centuries the good archbishop 
could return to this world and visit the New Am- 
sterdam at the mouth of Henry Hudson's Amsterdam 
river, how could he better record his im- dty"oYNew 
pressions than by using the selfsame ^^^^' 
words? Among great cities New York is espe- 
cially conspicuous and notable for its cosmopoli- 
tanism, and this feature, as we shall have occasion 
to observe, has belonged to it from the beginning. 
It is not altogether a consequence of the vast com- 
mercial growth upon Manhattan Island, but in 
great part a direct inheritance from the mother- 
city at the mouth of the Amstel. The differences 
in social physiognomy between the Boston and the 
New York of to-day are surely not greater and are 
probably less than between the village of John 


Endicott and tlie village of Peter Stuyvesant. 
The coming of the Dutch to the coast of North 
America introduced an element of variety that 
has always been of high interest and importance. 
They were then indisputably the foremost com- 
mercial people in the world, and they seized upon 
a position marked out by its geography as an im- 
perial centre for trade. Many things in American 
life are implicated with the fact that New York is 
virtually the daughter of Amsterdam. 

The circumstances, moreover, which brought the 
Dutch to America were complicated and inter- 
esting. They form an important chapter in the 
history of the process by which the great period of 
maritime discovery ended in the transfer of com- 
mercial supremacy from the Latin to the Teutonic 
world. It is worth our while to pass briefly in 
review the career of the people of the Netherlands, 
and note the steps whereby they achieved their 
•high position, and the vicissitudes by which they 
were made to bear the brunt of the great struggle 
for liberty that convulsed the sixteenth century. 
With the Dutch, as with the English, the begin- 
nings of colonization and of maritime emjDire were 
intimately associated with the work of curbing the 
aggressive power of Spain. The supreme crisis 
in modern history found the two peoples closely 

To us who speak English the people of the 
Netherlands are esj^ecially interesting as our near- 
est cousins. Of all foreign speech to-day the 
Dutch comes closest to ours. If I say that " So- 
krates was de wijste onder de Grieken," all can 


understand me ; but that is good Dutch. The 
chief diversence between the lanouaoes 

"^ Kinship be- 

arises from the well-known ertect oi the tweenthe 

/-^ T^ T 1 • p English and 

Norman Conquest upon Enolish ; if we Dutch 

. , . If peoples. 

had kept on saying cliapman instead oi 
merchant and againbite instead of re7no7'se, the 
divergence would be very slight. If we take the 
oldest specimens of Flemish and Frisian, and 
compare them with the English of King Alfred 
and the Norse that was spoken by the settlers 
of Iceland, we realize how very close was the kin- 
ship a thousand years ago among the people on 
all the coasts of the German Ocean. The Teu- 
tonic conquerors of Britain, with the Angles or 
English of Sleswick for their right wing, and 
the Saxon tribes between the Elbe and the Ems 
for their centre, had their left wing made up of 
Frisians from the region where long afterward, 
in the twelfth century, the boisterous ocean broke 
in and formed the Zuyder Zee, or '' Southern Sea." 
All these learned to call themselves English in 
their new home, where under various names their 
next of kin invaded their coasts, and ended by 
reinforcing their ranks, whether led by Guthorm 
the Dane, or by Harold of Norway, or by Wil- 
liam the Norman. Among all these children of 
Thor and Wodan the family likeness is strong. 
Men of stalwart frame, indomitable in fight, at 
home upon the wave, venturesome, fond of good 
cheer, fierce sticklers for liberty, prone to encour- 
age individuality and do their own thinking. Of 
these various cousins, as I said, those who speak 
Dutch are our nearest kin ; and their historic 


interest for us consists largely- in tliis, that they 
may be regarded as that portion of our race which 
has remained upon the continent of Europe, and 
has thus during fourteen centuries been affected 
by political and military conditions different from 
those which have shaped the career of its insular 
brethren. From the Netherlands we may learn 
some of the ways in which English history might 
have been modified in the absence of that silver 
streak of water which defied Farnese and Bona- 

Looking across that narrow bit of sea, the Eng- 
lish have always applied in a sj^ecial sense to their 
next of kin the name ''Dutch," which means 
"people " or "folks," and is the vernacular name 
for the whole Teutonic race away up to the High- 
lands of Austria and the Tyrol. The dwellers in 
those mountain regions, along with the greater part 
of the lowland population, we call by a Latin name, 
" Germans," as if we had first learned about them 
by reading Caesar's Gommentaries. Gne 

Dutcliland , , , -r\ i 

and Welsh- can see how the popular name " JJutch- 
land" would naturally remain associated 
esj^ecially with that bit of shore with which our 
forefathers had most to do. For a century after 
Hengist and Horsa the green island which they 
were conquering was a " Welshland," or abode of 
strangers, while the " Dutchland," or home of "the 
folks," was the half-sunken coast they had left 
behind them. 

The first glimpse we get of the Low Countries 
is in the year 57 b. C, when Caesar defeated the 
Nervii in a great battle on the Sambre, not far 


from the site of Valenciennes. The people of the 
confederated cantons, whose strength he Belgians and 
broke in that campaign, were known as ^''^t^^i''^"^. 
Belgians, and their land was then as now, ethno- 
logically as well as geographically, a border be- 
tween Germans and Kelts. No people in Gaul 
offered a more obstinate resistance to the conqueror. 
To the north of them we find the Batavians, with- 
out being subdued, entering into alliance with the 
Eomans and contributing to the strength of their 
legions. It was a brilliant charge of Batavian 
cavalry that gave victory to Caesar on the great 
day of Pharsalia. A century later they seem to 
have grown restive under the connection. In 69 
A. D., a noble Batavian, known to the Romans as 
Claudius Civilis, took advantage of the struggle 
between Vitellius and Vespasian to set up an inde- 
pendent confederacy of Belgic and Low German 
tribes. His superb resistance and gradual dis- 
comfiture are described in immortal colours by the 
greatest of Roman historians, whose narrative fails 
us in the very crisis of his fate. When Civilis 
steps out upon a bridge for a private interview 
with the Roman commander, there the manuscript 
breaks off in the middle of a sentence, and how it 
fared with the Batavian hero and his people we 
are not likely ever to know, unless some of the 
Egyptian tombs which have given back to us a 
lost essay of Aristotle and lost poems of Bacchy- 
lides should by and by yield up the missing books 
of Tacitus. Important, however, the Batavians 
surely remained. On many occasions their cavalry 
was noted as the best in the Roman service. In 


the 5' ear 357, when the youthful Julian the Apos- 
tate overthrew the Franks and Allemans in a tre- 
mendous battle at Strasburg, it was once more a 
resistless charge of Batavians that won the day. 

After this we hear little more of Netherlanders 
under the name of Batavians, but in all probabil- 
ity they were the same as the Frisians, part of 
wdiom in the next century joined in the English 
invasion of Britain, while part remained in their 
old seats by the delta of the Rhine. Nothing is 
more common in ages of shifting sov- 

Frisians. . , , • i t t 

ereignty than thus to meet with old 
friends under new names ; as, for instance, willi 
the near neighbour of the Frisians, that renowned 
warrior, Clovis, whom we know first as a Sicam- 
brian prince, but afterward only as the head of a 
permanent confederation of Low German tribes 
known as the "freemen," or " Franks." Where 
Civilis failed Clovis was successful, and with pro- 
digious results ; for his Franks were not only con- 
verted to the Catholic form of Christianity, but 
extended their power throughout the whole of 
Gaul and a large part of Germany, thus doing 
much to determine the form which European life 
should take during the Middle Ages. Many old 
tribal names on the lower Rhine become lost in 
the wider designation of Franks. The descend- 
ants of the old Belgian tribes who made so much 
trouble for Caesar were surely included among 
Flemish and them. The Flcmisli language, which to 
Frankish. ^|-j-^ ^j^y |g spokcu throughout a great 
part of Belgium, is a form of Frankish speech. It 
is very much like Frisian, which comes so close to 


Anglo-Saxon, while between Flemish and Frisian 
stands the Dutch of literature, the noble tongue in 
which are written the histories of Cornelius Hooft, 
the poems of Cats, and the tragedies of Yondel, to 
whom John Milton has been thought to have owed 
so much. 

It is interesting to consider what a Netherland- 
ish afPair the Frankish monarchy was. When the 
sceptre was ready to fall from the hands of the 
degenerate descendants of Clovis, it was seized by 
the so-called Carolingians, who were a family of 
Brabant. The Flemish-speaking Pepin of Landen, 
between Brussels and Liege, was the founder of 
their fortunes ; and his great-grandson, Charles 
Martel, the saviour of Europe from the Saracens, 
was grandfather of the mighty Charlemagne. 
When the powers of this wonderful family had 
failed, there once more came to the front a man 
from the lower Rhine, Eobert the Strong, ancestor 
of the Capetian kings who have occupied the throne 
of France till within the memory of men now liv- 

Into the Frankish and Christian empire all of 
the Netherlandish people seem to have entered 
willingly except the redoubtable Frisians, who in- 
sisted upon maintaining their independence and 
worshipping Wodan and Thor. Delightfully char- 
acteristic is the old monkish story of the Frisian 
chief Radbod. Having been very thoroughly 
beaten in battle by Charles Martel, the redoubt- 
able Frisian was persuaded to accept The Frisians 
Christianity, and Bishop Wolfram was ^«h«^*^«"- 
called upon to administer the rite of baptism. 


Radbod had already tlirust one stalwart leg into the 
consecrated font when a startling qnery presented 
itself to his mind, and he suddenly exclaimed, 
"Where now are the sonls of my ancestors?" 
With a frankness not sufficiently tempered by 
prudence the bishop replied, " In Hell, with all 
other unbelievers ! " " Very well, then," said 
Radbod, withdrawing his leg, '' none of your bap- 
tism for me ; I will feast in Valhalla with my 
forefathers rather than dwell in Heaven with your 
paltry band of Christians." 

The noble English missionaries, Willibrod and 
Winfrid, better known as St. Boniface, proved 
more persuasive than the Frankish arms. It is 
pleasant to think of England doing this great ser- 
vice for the Netherland, which in later ages was 
destined in so many ways to repay it. Before the 
end of the eighth century the Frisians were a 
Christian people. They had also, after 

The Frisians „ « . ^ • ^ , i i 

as Chris- ycars 01 wariare m which we are told 
that a hundred thousand lives were lost, 
come to terms with Charlemagne and consented to 
be ruled by his governors, provided it should be 
according to their own laws. One of their cus- 
toms was the free allodial proprietorshi}) of land ; 
and this they succeeded in maintaining throughout 
the Middle Ages, while most parts of Europe ac- 
cepted in different degrees the feudal system. The 
great emperor not only respected the local liberties 
of the Netherlands, but had one of his favourite 
homes there at Nymwegen, overlooking the lovely 
meadows of the Waal and the lower Rhine. 

With the memorable family compact of Verdun 


in 843, by which the Empire was divided among 
the three grandsons of Charlemagne, we begin to 
see a foreshadowing of the modern map of Europe, 
and our Netherland region becomes somewhat 
better defined than before. The ehlest brother, 
Lothair, takes the centre and core of the Frank- 
ish dominion, the whole of Friesland with the left 
bank of the Rhine, from the sea up to its sources in 
the Alps, thence going southerly and tak- 
ing in the whole of the old Burgundian the Middle' ' 

,.-, ciTTJi 1 '1 Kingdom. 

kmgdom east oi the Khone, together with 
Italy. This long strip of territory, from the Ger- 
man Ocean to the Straits of Messina, came to be 
known as the Middle Kingdom, or more often as 
Lotharingia. It contained the political capital, 
which we now call Aix-la-Chapelle, as well as the 
ecclesiastical capital, Rome, and its sovereign, 
Lothair, was recognized as Emperor of the West. 
To the east his brother Louis took the lands east 
of the Rhine and north of the Alps ; while the 
domain of Charles on the west comprised what has 
since become France, with as much of Spain as had 
been rescued from the Saracens. Thus we o*et 
France on the left and Germany on the right, with 
Lotharingia between them, first in point of dignity 
but least even then in political coherence and mili- 
tary strength. After a quarter of a century this 
Middle Kingdom is divided between its stronger 
neighbours ; France takes the Burgundian part, 
but Germany gets Friesland with all the left bank 
of the Rhine, and not long afterward acquires 
Italy and the imperial dignity. 

This might seem to have ended the Middle 


Kingdom, but there was a sense in which it con- 
tinued to live on for ages. While France and 
Germany waxed in strength on either 

Lorraine. ._ „. ,. •in • •! 

Side 01 it, this middle region acquired 
a somewhat chaotic semi - independence. Large 
portions have remained until the present day a 
debatable ground between the two great neigh- 
bours. The name Lotharingia, called Lothringen 
by the Germans and Lorraine by the French, still 
remains attached to a part of the territory which 
changed hands, possibly not for the last time, in 
1871. The country of Lorraine, with Alsace on 
its east, the Franche Comte or free countship of 
Burgundy to the south, and the Flemish-Dutch 
countries to the north, — these have for centuries 
represented the old Middle Kingdom. Surely it 
would be difficult to point to a region more full of 
historical and romantic interest. In journeying 
through it, all the way from Strasburg to Rotter- 
dam, one is perpetually struck with the general 
diffusion of intelligence and refinement, strength 
of character and personal dignity ; and there is 
reason for believing that at any time within the 
past four or five centuries our impression would 
have been relatively very much the same. In cer- 
tain ways the Middle Kingdom has evidently been 
a favoured portion of the earth. It has had, in 
particular, two kinds of advantages, ^rs^, political, 
secondly^ industrial. Let us devote a few words 
to each of these. 

The ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries were 
a period of extreme turbulence, though in some 
ways full of promise. At its beginning no such 


movement as that of the Crusades woukl have been 
possible ; but at the end of it we see the rji^g (.j,^. 
armed hosts of Christendom joyously ^^^^^' 
rushing forth to beat back the common enemy, 
until after repeated spasms of giant struggle we 
find civilized Europe thrilling as never before with 
the sense of a religious life in common, the popu- 
lar feeling that in the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies built churches of unspeakable sublimity and 
carried the Papacy to the height of its power. 
Now in the turmoil of the tenth century monarchy 
reached perhaps its lowest extremity of weakness ; 
duchies, counties, and barons did each what was 
right in its own eyes, and warfare between such 
small combatants was perpetual. But in the four- 
teenth century, along with a marked advance to- 
ward order and quiet, we find monarchy waxing 
so strong as to begin to suppress the feudal 
feudal system. During those four cen- LowCoun^^ 
turies little states grew up in the Low ^""^^ 
Countries, which as fiefs of Germany were in a 
measure protected from the aggressions of French 
royalty, while on the other hand the absorption 
of German energy in the great struggle between 
Pope and Emperor was so complete that they were 
left pretty much to themselves. Thus out of lower 
Lorraine grew up the Duchy of Brabant ; thus the 
Earls or Counts of Flanders acquired autonomy ; 
thus came into existence the semi -independent 
Duchy of Luxemburg, the countships of Limburg, 
Hainault, and Namur, — names heavily fraught 
with historic associations ; thus waxed in impor- 
tance the bishoprics of Liege and Utrecht, while 


in tlie Frisian territory grew up such communities 
as Zeeland and Oveiyssel, and in tlie tentli cen- 
tury a certain Frisian lord, named Diedrich or 
Dirk, emerged into fame as Count of Holland. 

Now in France the growth of such small feudal 
countships and duchies was overshadowed by the 
simultaneous growth of the royal power. Either 
the small communities or a great fief full of them 
would be added to the royal domain, or where they 
continued to be governed by their local lords the 
king's law and the king's officers were always pre- 
sent. The power that could be called forth for 

the suppression of local liberty was over- 
poiiticai cir- wlielmiug. It was far from being so in the 

eleventh century, but it came to be more 
and more so. But in the Low Countries, on the 
other hand, the political and social development of 
"Holland under its count or Brabant under its duke 
went on without any curbing or cramping at the 
hands of an all-devouring royal power. The force 
that could be called forth for the suppression of 
local liberty was itself in the main local and such 
as could be resisted. Zeeland and Holland and 
the other Netherlands were indeed fiefs of the Em- 
pire, but precious little they cared for the imperial 
diet at Frankfort. The central power in Germany 
grew weaker instead of thriving as in France, so 
that after a while the connection of the Nether- 
lands with the Empire came to be merely nominal. 
Among their little states there was a vast amount 
of bickering and clashing, but it was the turbu- 
lence of health and freedom and seems to have 
done small harm to the manly qualities of the 



people. In this way the political circumstances of 
the Netherlands were favourable. 

They were also highly favoured by industrial cir- 
cumstances. Taken lengthwise, the Middle King- 
dom, from Basel to the Zuyder Zee, is the most 
direct pathway for commerce from Italy and the 
Levant to the British islands and Scandinavia, 
while at the same time all trade between France 
and Germany must run across it. For favourable 
example, the city of Bruges in Flanders "JJ 
would take copper and iron, pitch and 
tar, and lumber from Sweden, hides and tallow 
and furs from Kussia, and send in exchange to 
those countries nearly all manufactured articles 
from a spade to a clock. So Bruges would like- 
wise send ale from Hamburg all over Europe, and 
clothing and blankets of English wool, with cargoes 
of salted fish from Iceland, and in return would 
distribute the wines of France, the fruits and oils 
of the Mediterranean, the ivory and spices, the 
Bagdad silks and India shawls, that came by way 
of Cairo and Venice. We may thus form some 
conception of the brisk commercial life of the Low 
Countries during the four centuries preceding the 
Discovery of America. But some further detail 
is desirable. 

The Dutch and Flemish states were scarcely less 
eminent for agriculture and manufactures than for 
commerce. The broad alluvial meadows afforded 
fine pasturage, and Dutch cattle were esteemed the 
best in Europe. Among the exports of 
the Netherlands were dairy products ; in 
the Middle Ages the cheeses of Edam and Limburg 


were famous as now. Hop gardens also flourished 
in the Netherlands, whence they crossed the chan- 
nel into Kent, and the first steps in the perfecting 
of beer by the use of the hop are claimed for the 
brewers of Holland. It is worthy of note that by 
the fourteenth century the Low Countries depended 
largely upon the Baltic trade for their supplies 
of wheat and rye, but this grain was ground in 
their own windmills, which they were the first to 
build in great numbers, and on improved plans 
for this and other kinds of mechanical work. 

The name '^ Holland *' means simply hollow or 
marshy land. In Old English, as in Dutch, it is 
a common noun, and the fen country in southern 
Lincolnshire has been known from time imme- 
morial as " the holland." In its unregenerate 
state the land of the Dutch was a mere mud-hole 
over large parts of which the ocean flowed at 
high tide, while rivers like the Rhine and Scheldt 
were by no means confined within their banks. 
Dikes and ^'^^^ problcui of redeeming the country 
canals. j^y dikes made the inhabitants expert in 

hydraulic engineering ; an elaborate system of 
canals and locks was developed, to the manifest 
benefit of commerce, while the ability to drown 
specific areas of country at will was of great value 
for purposes of military defence ; in this advan- 
tage the northern provinces had a larger share 
than the southern. In cities like Amsterdam and 
Bruges one might go from house to house in a 
boat, very much as in Venice. 

With their skill in hydraulics the Dutch took 
the lead in drainage, by the use of fertilizers they 


increased the size and the frequency of crops, they 
introduced new varieties of vegetables and were 
the first to use hotbeds sided with boards and 
roofed with glass. Their preeminence in Horticui- 
horticulture was admitted in the thir- *"'^®" 
teenth century, and no one who has read Dumas's 
famous story, '' The Black Tulip," is likely to for- 
get what it was in the seventeenth. Haarlem and 
Leyden were the first cities in Europe to have 
botanical gardens, and it was in Holland that 
Linnaeus found the materials for his great work 
in classification. 

The soil of the Low Countries is favourable not 
only to gardening but to the arts of the brick- 
maker and the potter. Immense quantities of 
bricks were made, while the mere mention of 
Dutch tiles for roofing or flooring, and of exquisite 
Delftware for the table, tells its own story. Other 
industries of prime importance were spinning and 
weaving. The best cloths of woollen and Manufac- 
of linen were made in the Low Countries. ^"''^^" 
Arras was famed for its rich tapestries, Brussels 
for its carpets, Cambrai for its fine cambric^ Lille 
for its thread and the fabrics woven from it. 
Gingham and galloon were first made in Flan- 
ders. The rough /He2;e, or woollen cloth of Fries- 
land, was noted for its warmth. The bleacheries 
about Haarlem were so famous that linens from 
many countries were sent there to be whitened. 
For centuries the world has been familiar with the 
fine linen called "Hollands," and the handmade 
paper prepared from it for printing books is un- 
equalled for strength and beauty. 


When we come to mention lace — which at once 
suggests such names as Mechlin and Brussels and 
Valenciennes — we arrive at the borderland where 
industrial art shades into the fine arts, where the 
artisan becomes the artist ; and we are reminded 
also of the close commercial relations and inter- 
chanoe of ideas between the Netherlands 

The fiue arts. t x i at i t i 

and Italy. Nowhere did the artists of 
Italy find more apt pupils than among the Flem- 
ino-s and Dutchmen. The names of Hans Memlino' 
and Hubert and John Van Eyck show the progress 
which painting had made in the earlier period of 
the Kenaissance, Avhile in modern times there are, 
of course, no greater names outside of Italy than 
Rubens and Rembrandt. But in one department 
of art, the latest to come to maturity, in the art of 
music, the Netherlanders were the pioneers and 
came to be the masters. From the tenth century 
onward the art of counterpoint was developed by 
Flemish musicians, until in the fifteenth century 
and early in the sixteenth we meet with the first 
two composers of world-wide and everlasting re- 
nown. From their names one might suppose that 
Josquin was a Frenchman and Orlando Lasso an 
Italian ; but these are embellished names, and both 
men were pure-blooded Flemings, natives of Hai- 
nault. From these great masters the sceptre passed 
with Palestrina to Italy, whence two centuries later 
it was won for Germany by Handel and Bach. 
In an industrial society of such keen intelligence 
and artistic capacity one mioht expect 

Scholarship. ^ o -. i • , , i i • i • i 

also to find high scholarship, along with 
a oeneral diffusion of the reading habit. A well- 


known statue and inscription at Haarlem claim for 
a native of that city, Laurens Janszoon Koster, 
the invention of printing- with movable type, but 
the claim rests upon insufficient evidence, and the 
priority of Gutenberg is not shaken. But in the 
work of multiplying books the change from parch- 
ment to paper was scarcely less important than the 
change from blocks to type, and here the abun- 
dant linen of the Netherlands furnished the needed 
material. Soon the Dutch presses turned out more 
work than any others, and had no rivals for excel- 
lence save in Venice. Thus their country became 
a principal centre for the diffusion of the new 
learning, and for the reproduction of Greek and 
Latin classics and of the Bible. Under such cir- 
cumstances we need not wonder that the greatest 
scholar of the sixteenth centur}^, Joseph Scaliger, 
made his home at Leyden, where his pupil, Hugo 
Grotius, became one of the most illustrious of 
jurists. Vesalius, the founder of modern anatomy, 
was a native of Brussels, Boerhaave, prince of phy- 
sicians and botanists, was born a few miles from 
Leyden. The seventeenth century witnessed the 
profound philosophical speculations of Spinoza and 
the discovery of the undulatory theory by Huy- 
ghens ; and during the same period the telescope, 
microscope, and thermometer were invented in 

These examples bring us quite out of the Middle 
Ages and into modern times, but it is needful to 
cite them as instances of fruition for which the 
seed was sown long before and under mediaeval 
conditions. The literary name which before all 


others in Europe illuminates the close of the Middle 
Ao-es is that of the miohty Erasmus, 

Literature. J^ ,.,.^^^_. 

whose birth m 1467 is commemorated by 
an inscription over the door of a little house in 
Rotterdam. One of the profoundest and most 
widely accomplished scholars of the Renaissance 
period, Erasmus was master of a literary style 
scarcely inferior to that of Voltaire. So dreaded 
was the power of his pen that even the Papacy 
deemed it prudent to leave him unmolested. The 
mention of this great style reminds us forcibly 
that the literary eminence of the Netherlands bears 
no sort of proportion to their eminence in art and 
science and scholarship, and this is chiefly because 
their best writers have so often written in Latin 
or French. In this respect their cosmopolitanism 
has perhaps been excessive. Neither Dutch nor 
Flemish possesses a body of literature which ade- 
quately represents the national genius. 

One of the most important parts of the work of 
Erasmus consisted in the editing and textual criti- 
cism, and in the translatino- of the Scrip- 

The Bible. c • oc i 

tures, and one oi its eiiects was to make 
the Netherlands a centre of Biblical scholarship. 
The first English translation of the Bible was pub- 
lished at Antwerp in 1535, and before that date 
there had been published more than fifteen editions 
in Dutch and Flemish. During the sixteenth 
century the Bible was nowhere else so generally 
read by the common people. 

The great Florentine historian, Guicciardini, 
whose testimony is of the highest value, assures us 
that in his day, or before 1540, even the peasants 


in Holland could commonly read and write their 
own language. State archives of Holland, 
Zeeland, and Friesland show that free scSs. 
schools, supported by public taxes, were 
the subject of legislation at various times during 
the sixteenth century. 

The impression produced by this accumulation 
of facts is that at the close of the Middle Ages 
civilization had assumed a more modern type than 
in any other part of Europe. There are other 
ways in which we are led to this conclusion, and 
one of them is closely concerned with the density 
of population and with the concentration 
of people in cities. At the present day mrai popu- 

1 T» 1 • • 1 lation. 

it IS well known that JJelgium is the most 
densely peopled area in Europe, while England 
comes second, and Holland third. Holland is a 
trifle larger, Belgium a trifle smaller, than the 
state of Maryland ; the two taken together are less 
than half as large as the state of New York, and 
have a population of over 11,000,000, or about 
equivalent to New York and Pennsylvania together. 
Rather more than one third of these people live in 
cities of more than 20,000 inhabitants, and of these 
cities the largest, such as Amsterdam or Brussels, 
have about half a million inhabitants. Now in 
the sixteenth century the Netherlands covered 
somewhat more territor}^ than now, for France has 
since then pared off slices from Flanders and 
Hainault. The population was about 5,000,000, 
or nearly the same as that of England, and it was 
much more dense than that of any similar area 
elsewhere in Europe. France, for example, had 


then about 9,000,000 people. Of tlie ratio of 
urban to rural population in tlie Low Countries 
at that time, one cannot speak with precision, but 
it was probably larger than at the present day. 
Bruges in its prime was four times as populous as 
now. Ghent could put into the field an arm}^ of 
50,000 men. Antwerp, which has lately taken on 
fresh life and come to rank next after London, 
Liverpool, and New York, as the fourth seajiort of 
the world, has scarcely yet recovered its old di- 
mensions. On the whole, we may safely conclude 
that during the later Middle Ages city life played 
a greater part in the Netherlands than elsewhere ; 
for while Italy had its great cities, the ratio of 
urban to rural population was certainly less. 

Now a civilization characterized by the predomi- 
nance of great commercial cities carrying on inter- 
national trade, with manufactures highly developed, 
Modern fea- ^^^^^^ ^' liigl^^r Standard of comfort than 
medL^va"'^ had cvcr before been attained, with wealth 
Netherlands, fr^j^iy distributed and education widely 
diffused, with eager attention paid to scientific 
inquiry and to the fine arts, — sucli a civilization 
was of course comparatively modern in its features. 
One of its most conspicuous aspects is its bringing 
into the foreground the solid and sober middle 
classes. As the typical figure in the England of 
those days was the country gentleman in his noble 
hall, the typical figure of the Netherlands was the 
burgher in his city house, no mere huckster of 
narrow intelligence and sordid views, but the mer- 
chant prince accustomed to manage great enter- 
prises, the magistrate learned and grave. Such 


types of men, with their strength and shrewdness, 
their look of comfort, their charming refinement 
and bonhomie, have been immortalized in one of 
the world's greatest pictures, the so-called " Syn- 
dics " of Rembrandt. It was indeed character- 
istic of Netherland art that it took a new departure. 
While the ancient Greek carved statues of gods 
and heroes to stand in his public square, while the 
mediaeval Italian decorated his church with sub- 
lime paintings of martyrs and saints, the Nether- 
lander was the first to find in domestic life worthy 
subjects of artistic treatment ; he painted dewy 
landscapes with sleek cattle, or cosy kitchens and 
alehouses, or the sports of children on the village 
green, and in this new departure we see most 
distinctly the modern character of Netherland 

In order to acquire for the burgher class the 
measure of freedom which it enjoyed at the close 
of the Middle Ages, a prolonged and complicated 
struggle was necessary. The forces engaged were 
so many and worked so often at cross purposes 
that it is difficult to make a clear and coherent 
story of the beginnings of civil liberty in the 
Netherlands. The contrast with Eng- 

, , . , 1 1 T T7 Political de- 

land IS very strongly marked, in i^ng- yeiopment 

land, during the eleventh and twelfth 
centuries, we see the royal power so far curbing 
the great barons as to secure national unity of ad- 
ministration, and to establish the king's peace 
throughout the land. Then to prevent the crown 
from acquiring despotic power, the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries saw the rural aristocracy al- 


lied with the merchants and craftsmen of the towns 
securing steady representa^tion through a parlia- 
ment, with control over the public purse. The 
result was that, although the power of parliament 
declined somewhat during the fifteenth century, 
yet it remained too strong to be overridden by the 
crown at its strongest. Even Henry VIII. could 
not defy parliament, but was obliged to cajole it 
or else to pack it by means of rotten boroughs. 

In the Netherlands the growth of constitutional 
liberty was by no means so steady or so sure- 
footed. The parties were more numerous, the 
alliances more shifting, and the results more frag- 
mentary and precarious. There were firsts the 
rural squires with the peasantry, but the condition 
of the latter was better than in most parts of the 
Political de- coutiueut, and serfdom disappeared as 
theTthe'r." ^arly as in England. Secondhj, there 
lauds. were the dwellers in the cities among 

whom we first recall the craft-guilds and merchant- 
guilds that made the strength and wealth of those 
communities. Life in the cities was so attractive 
that many of the feudal aristocracy lived in them, 
as in the Italian cities, instead of dwelling apart in 
the country. The cities thus became the scene of 
struggles, sometimes violent and bloody, between 
the middle class of tradesmen and artisans and 
the arrogant folk who prided themselves on doing 
nothing. But besides this the guilds were often 
heavily hampered by dissensions between 

The guilds. ^1 ' n\ ^ i 1 

one another, as m (jrhent, tor example, 
between the weavers and the fullers. Moreover 
there were quarrels between neighbouring cities, 


as in Italy, though less prolonged and deadly. 
Thus when the guilds were in control of Ghent 
and the notable people were in control of Ypres, 
the men of Ghent laid siege to Ypres ; and we are 
not surprised to learn that the gate was opened to 
them by a party of their friends within, just as 
was continually happening in ancient Greece. 

Then, as another belligerent party, there was the 
great local lord or ruler, the Count of Flanders, 
the Duke of Brabant, the Marquis of ^iie locai 
Antwerp, the Count of Holland, and so ^^'''^^• 
on. The local rulers tried to assert a sovereignty 
which the cities would not allow. In general they 
governed the rural districts more despotically than 
the cities, where their chief opponents were the 
sturdy guildsmen. Usually the local ruler favoured 
the notables of the cities as his allies asfainst the 
guilds ; for example, in the affair just alluded to, 
when the craftsmen of Ghent marched against 
Ypres, the Count of Flanders sent a party of 
knights there to defend the notable people. 

The last of the belligerent parties was the over- 
lord, either the Emperor or the French The over- 
king, who laid claim to some of the south- ^°''^^' 
ern Netherlands as French fiefs. Interference 
came much more often from France than from 
the Empire, the energies of which were otherwise 
occupied. Sometimes the French got the worst of 
it, as in the great battle of Courtray, in 1302, 
when Philip the Fair was so badly beaten by the 
Flemings, one of the first battles that proved the 
superiority of infantry to men-at-arms. But some- 
times French intervention was higlily effective and 


disastrous, as in 1382, in the famous struggle be- 
tween Louis de Male, Count of Flanders, and the 
men of Ghent led by Philip van Artevelde. That 
popular leader was winning a goodly fight for 
liberty when he was overwhelmed and slain by the 
French at Roosebeke. It is such events 

The disaster i • i ^ ii i f ti 

of Roose- as this tliat make all lovers of liberty 

beke, 13S2. . . "^ 

thank God for the English Channel. In 
1264, in the midst of the great war that put an 
effectual curb on the English crown, a powerful 
French army was raised to aid the king, but as 
has happened more than once since, it coi^d not 
cross those few miles of water. 

In spite of all untoward circumstances, however, 
including occasional bloody overthrows, as at 
iioosebeke, the liberties of the Low Countries 
grew from more to more. Whether the citizens 
with lances and cross-bows wrenched from their 
feudal lords the j^rivilege of being governed ac- 
cording to law, or whether they bought immunities 
and franchises and paid for them in hard cash, 
they had succeeded by the fifteenth century in 
building up a goodly body of liberties. A notable 
change then occurred in their political condition, 
which in course of time resulted in one of the 
world's most memorable revolutions. This change 
was their gradual absorption into the dominions of 
the House of Burgundy. 

In 1363 King John of France granted the 
duchy of Burgundy to one of his younger sons, 
Philip the Hardy, a gift which the next three 
kings of France saw reason to regret. For this 
line of dukes began acquiring in one way or an- 


other — by marriage, purchase, or usurpation — 
the different provinces of the Nether- 

^ . Philip 

lands. The third duke, the versatile ras- the Good, 
cal known as Philip the Good, by cheat- 
ing his unhappy cousin Jacqueline out of her do- 
minions of Holland, Zeeland, and Hainault, nearly 
completed the acquisition. As ruler over so many 
great commercial and manufacturing cities, Duke 
Philip was the most powerful sovereign in Europe. 
At the beginning of his reign in 1419, when in 
revenofe for the murder of his father he allied him- 
self v>^ith the King of England, it made the Eng- 
lish masters of France ; and when in 1436 he 
quarrelled with the Duke of Gloucester about 
Cousin Jacqueline, and withdrew his aid from the 
English, their stay in France was speedily ended. 
Philip's court was the most magnificent in Europe, 
and so great was his power that it seemed quite 
proper that he should be made a king. Control- 
ling the Netherlands, with parts of Alsace and 
Lorraine, as well as the duchy and county of Bur- 
gundy, he might well ask to be recognized as the 
restorer of the old Middle Kingdom, or Lotha- 

This ambition shaped the policy of his terrible 
son, Charles the Bold, and under the rule 
of these two the Netherlands had a fore- the bom, 
taste of the long woes that were to come. 
The fifteenth century witnessed few more frightful 
crimes than the massacres at Dinant and Liege, 
which had ventured to disown the jurisdiction of 
these tyrants. Such lurid examples showed what 
honest burghers everywhere might expect should 


they refuse to contribute to public enterprises in 
which they felt no sort of interest. For a time it 
seemed as if Charles the Bold was on the point of 
succeeding in his schemes and becoming king of a 
renovated Lotharingia, when his evil star brought 
him into collision with the Swiss. His death in 
battle left a young daughter to succeed him, where- 
upon his duchy of Burgundy was forthwith seized 
by France, and soon the Lady Mary retained little 
Lady Mary, ^^ ^^^^ father's posscssious cxccpt the 
1477-82. Low Countries. Her marriage to Maxi- 
milian, Archduke of Austria, was followed by her 
death in 1482, and again we see illustrations of the 
fact that feudal sovereignty had grown to be too 
strono- over the Netherlands. 


The death of Charles the Bold had seemed to 
offer a golden opportunity to the sturdy Dutch 
and Flemish burghers. Intent upon putting an 
end to tyranny, they extorted from the Lady 
Mary a charter of liberties, known as the Great 
The Great Privilege. Among other things it pro- 
Priviiege. yldcd tliat uo ucw taxcs should be im- 
posed save by consent of the provincial estates, 
and that no war, either offensive or defensive, 
should be begun without such consent first ob- 
tained. Any edict or command of the sovereign 
that conflicted with the privileges of a city was to 
be held invalid. The sovereign must come in per- 
son before the estates, to make his request for 
money, and no city should be compelled to raise 
supplies which it had not itself freely voted. The 
sovereign must also be bound by the decisions of 
the courts of justice ; and citizens were to be 


guaranteed against arbitrary arrest. While sucli 
wholesome measures were under discussion at 
Ghent, an embassy was sent by the estates to the 
King of France. Two of the envoys, Imbrecourt 
and Hugonet, old servants of Mary's father, so far 
forgot themselves as to take a secret message from 
her to Louis XI., craving his aid against her sub- 
jects. On the return of the envoys to Ghent the 
king betrayed their treasonable secret, whereupon 
they were quickly seized and beheaded in the 
market-place in Mary's presence, and in spite of 
her frantic tears and prayers. In the mind of the 
citizens it was the merited punishment of traitors, 
but contemporary chroniclers, in whose eyes all 
burghers were merely a canine rabble, called it a 
foul murder, and were more shocked by it than by 
the wholesale massacre of Dinant. The prompt 
and sharp action of the men of Ghent herakled 
the time when kings could be brought to the pub- 
lic scaffold for treason against their subjects. 

After Mary's death left her infant son Philip 
sovereign over the Netherlands, his father, the 
Archduke Maximilian, acted as regent and found 
many opportunities for revenging himself upon the 
freedom - loving burghers. Alone he was hardly 
equal to the task of curbing them, but phmpof 
with an army furnished by his father, ^"^*^'i^- 
the Emperor, he was able to bring them to terms. 
During eleven years his knavish tyranny was such 
as England never witnessed in her darkest days. 
Since the coming of Hengist and Horsa no Eng- 
lish king could have behaved like Maximilian and 
stayed upon the throne eleven weeks. In 1494, 


shortly after Maximilian had become emperor, 
the boy Philip entered npon the task of governing 
the Netherlands, and in taking his oath of office 
did not even deign to mention the great charter 
which his mother had granted. Evidently the 
Netherlands were not so favourably situated as 
England for defending their liberty. Our fore- 
fathers who crossed to the island occupied a bet- 
ter strategic position for that purpose than their 
cousins who remained on the continent. The chief 
danger for the latter was that freedom might at 
any time be overwhelmed by sheer brute force. 
Such a catastrophe was suggested by the battle 
of Roosebeke, and far more forcibly by the rule 
of the House of Burgundy. At the end of the 
fifteenth century a great crisis was preparing. 
Young Philip married Joanna of Castile, daugh- 
ter of Ferdinand and Isabella, and the year 1500 
saw the birth at Ghent of that Charles 
who was to be king of Spain and lord 
over the Netherlands and emperor, with half the 
military force of Europe at his beck and call, and 
all the treasures of Mexico and Peru within his 
reach. AVhat hope could there be for Dutch and 
Flemish liberties if attacked by such prodigious 
power ? The Low Countries had been the garden 
of freedom ; were they not in danger of becoming 
its grave ? 

Thus we come to the great struggle of the 
sixteenth century in which mightier issues were 
consciously involved than in any other crisis of 
history before or since. In considering it we shall 
find the courses of English and Dutch history 


running very closely together, and at times inter- 
mingling, while we come upon the circumstances 
that led to the planting of a Dutch colony in 
North America. 


The earlier writers on American history were 
apt to ignore or pass over in silence the contribu- 
tions to American civilization that have been made 
by other people than the English. Perhaps this 
may have been because our earliest historians were 
men of New England whose attention was unduly 
occupied with their own neighbourhood. At all 
events there can be no doubt of the fact. The 
Non-English noi^-Euglish elements in our composite 
the"Ameii" civilizatiou wcrc not so much denied as 
can people, disregarded, like infinitesimals in alge- 
bra. Your historian would not deny that the set- 
tlement of New Netherland counted for something, 
nevertheless his general group of statements would 
fail to take it into the account. 

Against this narrowness recent years have wit- 
nessed a reaction. Various historical societies, 
grouped upon a princii)le of nationality, have be- 
gun to do excellent work in collecting fresh ma- 
terials for the study of the colonization of America. 
Such work deserves our warmest encouragement, 
and it would be highly unreasonable to complain 
because it sometimes shows an excess of enthu- 
siasm. In reading the memoirs and proceedings 
of Huguenot societies, Holland societies, Jewish 


societies, Scotcli-Irisli societies, etc., one is some- 
times inclined to ask whether the people about 
whom we are reading for the moment ever left 
anything for other people to do. Your patriotic 
Ulsterman is clear that the migrations of ^'''^' 
Englishmen to Virginia and New England were 
small affairs compared with the migration from 
Ulster to Pennsylvania ; your Huguenot sees in 
men of his race and faith the chief builders of the 
United States ; and statements are made about the 
Jew which seem quite incompatible with the size 
of the home market for pork. These patriotic 
writers are wont to act upon the maxim of the 
late Zachariah Chandler, and ''claim everything;" 
and amid so many claims that of England to fur- 
ther recognition as the mother country of the 
United States seems for the moment overridden. 
Added to these influences comes that of Anglo- 
phobia, which now and then bursts out with viru- 
lence when such topics are discussed. A notable 
illustration was furnished a few years ago, in a 
book by the late Douglas Campbell, of Cherry 
Valley, N. Y., entitled '' The Puritan in England, 
Holland, and America." This work is inspired 
not so much by love for Holland as by hatred of 
England, which the author inherited from Scotch- 
Irish ancestors ; if the abuse of England, ^ngio- 
most of it irrelevant, were omitted, the p^*^^^*- 
two bulky octavos would shrink at once into one 
small duodecimo, and the clearness and force of 
the argument would be greatly enhanced. In 
the century of American development before the 
Scotch-Irish came, Mr. Campbell holds that the 


doiiiiuant influence here was Dutch ; while it can- 
not be denied that tlie Dutch were comparatively 
few in number, it is nevertheless held that their 
ideas and institutions prevailed to such an extent 
that the Republic of the United States is far more 
a child of the Dutch Republic than of England. 
Throughout the book the animus is one of unwill- 
ingness to admit that anything of value in our 
own much-vaunted country can have come from 
the land where unjust laws were once made for the 
men of Ulster. 

It is to be regretted that historic inquiries should 
so often be conducted in such a spirit. In the 
present case the first result is to cast some discredit 
upon an argument which contains many strong 
points. There can be no doubt that the influence 
of the Netherlands upon the formation of the 
United States has been great in many ways. In 
the history of the planting of our Middle Colonies 
that influence will now and then come up for dis- 
cussion ; we shall have occasion to consider what 
the Dutch influence has been. In the mean time, 
while freel}^ admitting that it has been great, we 
must let drop a word of caution as to the method 
to be pursued in arriving at conclusions. We must 
be on our guard against the common fallacy of 
Free public P^'^^ ^^^^ propter. For example, if in 
schools. ^i^g sixteenth century we find free public 
schools in operation in the Netherlands but not in 
England, we must beware of too hastily inferring 
that the free schools of New England in the seven- 
teenth century were introduced or copied from 
Holland. A different exjolanation is quite pos- 


sible. One of the cardinal requirements of demo- 
cratic Calvinism has always been elementary 
education for everybody. In matters of religion 
all souls are equally concerned, and each individual 
is ultimately responsible for himself. The Scrip- 
tures are the rule of life, and accordingly each 
individual ought to be able to read them for him- 
self, without dependence upon priests. Hence it 
is one of the prime duties of a congregation to 
insist that all its members shall know how to read, 
and if necessary to provide them with the requisite 
instruction. In accordance with this Calvinistic 
idea some form of universal and compulsory ele- 
mentary education sprang up during the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries wherever Calvinism had 
become dominant, — in the Protestant parts of 
France and Switzerland, in Scotland, in the Nether- 
lands, and in New England. Obviously, then, it 
might be held that free schools in New England 
were a natural development of Calvinism, and do 
not necessarily imply any especially close relation 
with Holland. 

One further illustration I am tempted to cite for 
its extreme aptness, as well as for its delicious 
naivete. We have in these days a good many fel- 
low-citizens of Bohemian birth or parent- ^ Bohemian 
age, especially in the states of Illinois ^^®'''" 
and Wisconsin ; and in 1894 a " History of Bo- 
hemia," by Mr. Robert Vickers, was published in 
Chicago, a book with many sterling merits. In 
his preface the author urges that a knowledge of 
the history of Bohemia is indispensable for every 
American, and adds : '' Citizens will perhaps hear 


with incredulity the assertion that the civil consti- 
tution of Bohemia is the parent of that of England 
and of our own." Truly in the face of such a 
statement incredulity is the proper frame of mind. 
The institutions of Bohemia and those of England 
are in many points traceable to a common primitive 
Aryan source, and the family likeness may often 
be plainly discerned ; but it is not likely that 
any single feature of old English life was derived 
from Bohemia. Mere speculation on such points 
is liable to be as hazardous as when in philology 
we base conclusions purely upon the resemblances 
or identities between words. In Calcutta you may 
hear a ship called " nava," an Old Aryan word 
that has survived not only in Sanskrit but in Latin, 
whence it has been adopted into English ; we have 
the word " navy," but we did not get it from India. 
In similar wise there are points of family likeness 
between the village institutions of New England 
and those of Russia, resemblances that have sur- 
vived a long night of ages ; but we did not get our 
town meetings from Kussia. 

In considering the contributions made by the 
Low Countries to civilization in America, we must 
begin by considering their contributions to civili- 
zation in England, and we shall find that these 
were many and important. There is no doubt 
that the commercial and social relations between 
Britain and the Continent were greatly multi- 
plied and strengthened by the Norman Conquest. 
In particular, the relations with Flanders grew 
closer, and we find a party of Flemings, driven 


from home by floods, seeking and obtaining permis- 
sion from William Rufus to make a set- Flemings in 
tlement in England. This was accom- ^"s^^"*^- 
plished about 1112 under Henry I., who planted the 
new colony in Pembrokeshire to serve as a buffer 
against the Welsh. Thence, if Fabyan is correctly 
informed, they spread into other parts of the island, 
and already they were known as skilful weavers, 
insomuch that about 1150 David I. of Scotland, 
by special privileges, induced some of them to 
come and settle north of Tweed.^ 

But a long time was yet to elapse before Eng- 
land was to become a manufacturing country. 
For the next two centuries all the better grades of 
woollen cloth came from the Flemish cities. The 
wool grown on British sheep was the best pontics and 
in the world, and most of it went to Flem- ^°^^- 
ish looms, whence some of the fine cloths made 
from it came back to clothe the people of Britain, 
while the rest were sent all over Christendom, and 
even into the dim, vast Orient. Throughout the 
later Middle Ages, and into the seventeenth cen- 
tury, one is struck with the singularly close and 
steady alliance between the Low Countries and 
England. Along with divers political causes for 
this alliance there was one permanent and pervad- 
ing economical cause. A failure in the supply of 
English wool was as paralyzing to the Flemish 
weavers as the failure in the supply of American 
cotton during our late Civil War was paralyzing 
to the great manufactories of England ; while con- 
versely any flagrant disturbance of manufacturing 

1 Fox-Bourne, English Merchants, i. 9-11. 


in Flanders would spoil the market for tlie English 
sheep farmer. Wool was symbolic of the wealth 
of the two countries. In glorification of Nether- 
land industry Duke Philip of Burgundy instituted 
the order of Knights of the Golden Fleece, and 
in the House of Lords at Westminster the Lord 
Chancellor still sits upon the woolsack. 

But other things than wool passed back and 
forth across the Channel. How it was in the time 
Trade be- ^f Hcury VHI. wc may learn from the 
derTan?''"' accuratc obscrvcr, Guicciardini. ''To 
England. England," he says, " Antwerp sends jew- 
els and precious stones, silver bullion, quicksilver, 
wrought silks, cloth of gold and silver, gold and 
silver thread, camblets, grograms, spices, drugs, 
sugar, cotton, cummin galls, linen fine and coarse, 
serges, demi-ostades, tapestry, madder, hops in great 
quantity, glass, salt fish, . . . arms of all kinds, 
ammunition for war, and household furniture. 
From England Antwerp receives vast quantities 
of fine and coarse draperies, fringes and other 
things of that kind to a great value, the finest 
wool, excellent saffron in small quantities, a great 
quantity of lead and tin, sheep and rabbit skins 
without number, and various other sorts of fine 
peltry and leather, beer, cheese, and other sorts of 
provisions ; also Malmsey wines, which the English 
import from Candia." ^ He might have added 
that many a cargo of delicate Moselle wine found 
its way across the Channel westward. It will be 
observed that in Guicciardini's list the English 
exports are mostly of provisions or of raw materi- 

1 Traill's Social England^ iii. 369. 


als, while the imports from Flanders are mostly 
products of skilled labour. This is only one among 
many indications that the superiority in material 
civilization was on the side of the Continent. 

The introduction of skilled labour into England, 
especially so far as concerns textile fabrics, was 
largely due to the actual immigration of 
workmen from the Netherlands. This from the 

. , •111 Netherlands 

migration began to assume considerable intoEng- 
proportions in the fourteenth century, in 
the reign of Edward III. That was not, as we 
sometimes find it carelessly asserted, the beginning 
of woollen manufactures in England. I have al- 
ready mentioned the Flemish weavers there in the 
twelfth century, and we know that some English 
cloths were exported in the thirteenth.^ It is 
worth noting from first to last how close was the 
intercourse between the two sides of the Channel, 
and how the Netherlanders appear in the attitude 
of teachers. Edward III. encouraged artisans with 
special privileges, and there were many who found 
life, liberty, and earnings more efficiently protected 
by the English Parliament than by any power 
their civic governments could put forth on the 

The first influx of this Netherland population 
was into the East Anglian counties of Norfolk and 
Suffolk. Ill the reign of Plenry V. the 

7 ,T • T . . . T , 1 • Netherland- 

clotn industries were mainly centred m ersinEast 
Norfolk, whose capital, Norwich, then ^^^^' 
ranked as the second city in the kingdom. An- 
other Norfolk town, Worsted, has fallen into obliv- 
1 Traill, iii. 399. 


ion in spite of its splendid Gothic cliurch, but the 
name of the thread first made there is known to 
all the world. From East Anglia the making of 
cloth gradually extended south west ward to Win- 
chester and Salisbury and northwestward into 
Cheshire until by the time of James I. the share 
of the West in it had begun to predominate. To 
go back to Henry Y., the company of Merchant 
Adventurers, devoted exclusively to the exporta- 
tion of manufactured woollens, was chartered in 
1407 ; for three centuries it was a body of much 
importance, and after its type were constructed 
some of the greatest of modern mercantile compa- 

Thus the Flemish influence upon mediseval Eng- 
land was commercially of great significance. But 
there was much more in it than spinning and weav- 
ing. One cannot long study the period of the 
Reformation, say from Henry YIII. to Oliver 
Cromwell, without observing that the eastern coun- 
Puritanism ^^^^ wcrc tlic stroiigliold of dcmocratic 
eTn^comSes i^leas aud of Puritanism. The contrast 
of England, ^j^j^ ^j^^ ^y^^^ ^^^ ^j^^j^ illustrated in 

the two universities ; Oxford was sure to be High 
Church and Tory, while Cambridge was Liberal 
and more or less Puritan. During the Civil War 
the Eastern Counties Association furnished the 
backbone of the Parliament's army. Three of the 
oldest county names in America — Norfolk, Suf- 
folk, and Essex, curiously jmt wrong end first on 
the map — remind us that a large majority of the 
earliest settlers of New England came from those 
old world counties. Quite in keei^ing with this is 


the fact that of the 280 martyrdoms in the brief 
fury of Bloody Mary, 240 occurred east of a straight 
line which you might draw from Brighton through 
London to the Wash.^ It is utterly impossible 
that these relations should be accidental. 

But let us go back to the fourteenth century and 
to the preaching of Wyclif. The career of Lol- 
lardism is unsurpassed in importance by any other 
phenomenon in English history. Lollardism was 
the earliest phase of Protestautism in TheLoi- 
England, as the Catharism of the Al- ^''^^^• 
bigenses was the earliest phase of Protestantism 
in France. The tenets of the Cathari were very 
different from those of the Lollards, but as forces 
disintegrating to Catholic theology and the Papacy 
they were quite similar. If the Albigenses had 
not been exterminated in the thirteenth century, 
France would probably have become a Protestant 
country in the sixteenth. If the House of Lan- 
caster had succeeded in exterminating the Lol- 
lards, very likely the reformation under the House 
of Tudor would have stopped where it was left by 
Henry VIII. But the eastern counties were al- 
ways the stronghold of Lollardism, and it was 
among the weavers of Norwich and Worsted and 
Lynn and Colchester and other such towns that 
Wyclif found his earliest and staunchest disciples. 
About a hundred Lollards were burned in the 
course of the fifteenth century, and of these cases 
more than half occurred in the single county of 
Norfolk. So late as 1520, Longland, bishop of 
Lincoln, reported that in the course of a single 
1 Green, History of the English People, ii. 259, 260. 


visitation of his diocese more than 200 persons 
were bronght before him under the charge of Lol- 
lardism. Such testimony shows how far from true 
is the statement, often carelessly made, that the 
Lollards were suppressed in England. It is true 
that their ministers were prevented from preaching 
openly, but the multitude of them went on quietly 
reading W^^clif's Bible and keeping up their own 
thinking until the stirring times when the elo- 
quence of Latimer and Hooper and the theology 
of Calvin brought them into the foreground of 
history as the Puritans. 

From the foregoing group of facts it is extremely 
probable that the beginnings of Puritanism in Eng- 
land were intimately related to the influence ex- 
erted upon England by the Netherlands. On 
general principles it would not be strange that the 
eastern side of the island, looking toward the Con- 
tinent, should have exhibited earlier symptoms of 
progressiveness than the west side, backed by the 
wild mountains of Wales. In modern times, since 
Influence of England lias become a great maritime 
landau" on' powcr, othcr couditious prevail and the 
England. wcst and nortli have become more impor- 
tant than the east ; but in the Middle Ages the 
east side was favoured as we have seen. The 
centre of commerce, of art, of learning, of cosmo- 
politan life, was in northern Italy ; and from that 
centre the light of civilization shone upon the 
north of Europe along the great pathways of 
trade, nearly all of which were interlaced witli one 
another in the Netherlands, making that region 
second only to Italy as a centre of cosmopolitan 


culture. In the time of Henry YIII. civilization 
was farther advanced in the Low Countries than 
in either France or England. The towns were 
far cleaner, there was more domestic comfort, less 
squalor and poverty, more general education, finer 
pictures and better music, more knowledge of the 
great world. Life in England, abounding in racy 
vigour, was comparatively rural, provincial, nar- 

A general survey of the Middle Ages would 
lead one to the conclusion that there was a cer- 
tain antagonism between the ecclesiastical and the 
commercial spirit, or, as a priest of those days 
might have seen fit to phrase it, between God and 
Mammon. Clearly where commerce was most 
highly developed, the priesthood never attained 
its full measure of political power. The most 
striking illustration of this is the failure of the 
Papacy, at the zenith of its tyranu}^ in 
the thirteenth century, to fasten the In- between 
Quisition upon Venice.^ That baleful and com- 


institution never acquired a secure foot- 
hold in the mediaeval Netherlands ; in 1430 it liad 
been almost forgotten at Lille what should be 
done with the forfeited estates of persons burned 
for heresy. Yet there can be little doubt that in 
a quiet way much thinking was done outside of 
ecclesiastical lines. In northern Italy Catharism 
was never thoroughly stamped out as it was in 
France, and Catharist notions hovered in the air 
all the way down the Rhine from the mountains 
to the sea. Catharists found their way as far as 
1 Lea, Inquisition^ ii. 249-253. ^ Id., i. 521. 


Holland, where tlie Dutch corrupted their name 
into ^ Ketters ; " they were forerunners of the 
Mennonites and Anabaptists of a later day. 
Amono- the Dutch oardeners and Flemish weavers 
were also to be found Waldenses from Savoy,, 
members of the earliest of the sects that are now 
reckoned among Protestants. In those manufac- 
turing and commercial cities people of sectarian 
opinions contrived to live side by side with re- 
markably little strife. Such a society contained 
all the materials for a mighty rebellion against 
priestcraft. Commercial intercourse with such a 
society and the receiving of immigrants from it 
could not fail to stimulate progressive thought in 
England. It is evident, too, that such a society 
could not well pass through the crisis of the Re- 
formation without a paroxysm of persecution and 

This was made practically certain by the ex- 
posed situation of the Netherlands. I showed in 
the preceding chapter that, as long as cities like 
Antwerp or Rotterdam could protect themselves 
against military coercion at the hands of some 
feudal superior, it was possible for them 
the Nether- to dcvclop a gTcat auiouut of practical 
freedom. The position of the patchwork 
Middle Kingdom, between France and- Germany, 
and without any general head of its own, was 
wonderfully favourable to such development. But 
when the powerful feudal superior came, in the 
shape of the House of Burgundy, the danger soon 
became apparent. When a proud city like Dinant 
could be levelled with the ground and 8000 of its 


people massacred, at the behest of a feudal prince, 
it was a day of ill omen for human liberty. Far 
worse was it when the Netherlands came to have 
for their lord the most powerful monarch on earth. 
The little finger of Charles of Spain was thicker 
than the loin of his great-grandfather, Charles of 
Burgundy. The conflict, moreover, was irrepres- 
sible. The revolt of Martin Luther made it neces- 
sary for those who would maintain the old order 
of thino:s to attack the liberties of the Nether- 
lands. Since the suppression of the Albigenses 
persecution had been spasmodic until the founding 
of the modern or Spanish Inquisition in 1480 ; 
but with the advent of Protestantism it became 
systematic and persistent. The reign of the Em- 
peror Charles was largely occupied with the at- 
tempt to exterminate heresy in the Low Countries. 
If the statement of Grotius can be accepted, that 
more than 50,000 heretics were put to death, it 
was a persecution almost beyond precedent. It 
was a fit preparation for the most desperate and 
tragic revolt against tyranny of which we have 
any record. Americans must always remember 
with pride that it was an American historian who 
first adequately portrayed the sublime figure of 
William the Silent and described the magnificent 
epoch in history known as " The Rise of the Dutch 
Republic." He who would refresh his memory as 
to the incidents should go back to Motley's glow- 
ing narrative. But there are a few points which 
we are here especially concerned to mention. 

Let us first observe that the success of the re- 
volted provinces in winning their independence 


was but partial. The mighty struggle broke the 
Netherlands in twain. The Flemish provinces, the 
land of the Nervii, were once more compelled to 
bow the knee unto Csesar, but the Frisian descend- 
ants of sturdy Radbod triumphantly defied him. 
The free United States of the Nether- 

Tlie Nether- , , i i i i 

lands broken lauds cauic commoiily to be known by 

in twain. , f i • 

the name oi their most important com- 
mercial state, Holland, very much as if the United 
States of America were to be commonly called 
New York. The Flemish provinces, remaining 
attached to the House of Hapsburg, were called 
SiDanish Netherlands, until that family was super- 
seded in Spain by the House of Bourbon. Then 
they were known as Austrian Netherlands until 
the French Revolution. The European Congress 
of 1815 created a kinodom of the Netherlands, 
which comprised both the Dutch and the Flemish 
portions, but this arrangement was short-lived. 
The line of cleavage established by the great sepa- 
ration of 1579 had in the following two and a half 
centuries become only more pronounced ; and in 
1830 the Flemish provinces were erected into a 
distinct kingdom and comprehended under the 
ancient classic name of Belgium. Some mutual 
effects of the separation of 1579 upon the Dutch 
and Flemish provinces will presently call for no- 
tice ; but some mention must first be made of the 
effects upon England of that great war of libera- 

The first effect was the migration of Nether- 
landers to England on a larger scale than ever be- 
fore. This mifjration beoan before the middle of 


the century, as a consequence of the persecutions 
under Charles V. ; it was checked for a 

Hegira of 

moment durino^ the reio^n of Mary Tudor, i>utch and 

*. • 1 1 . I Flemish 

but beofan aoain with the accession of Puritans into 

° ° . England. 

Elizabeth. In 1560 the Spanish ambas- 
sador reported to Philip II. that there were more 
than 10,000 recent Flemish refugees in England, 
and two years later he gave the number as at least 
30,000. In 1568 there were more than 5000 in 
London alone, and as many more in Norwich.^ 
The Cinque Ports were full of Dutch and Walloon 
refugees ; in 1566 they numbered in the town of 
Sandwich 120 householders, as against 291 Eng- 
lish householders ; that is, they were nearly one 
third of the population. They introduced into 
Sandwich the manufacture of paper and silk. In 
Maidstone the next year such refugees established 
the linen thread industry. To Honiton and other 
Devonshire towns they brought the dainty art of 
lace-making. They began the steel and iron works 
of Sheffield, and the making of baizes and serges 
at Leeds. They revolutionized the art of glass- 
making in England, and raised market-gardening 
and horticulture to quite a new level. There is 
thus no doubt that to the very marked and rapid 
rise in the standard of domestic living, which 
characterized the age of Elizabeth, this influx of 
Netherlanders contributed in no small degree. It 
is part of Elizabeth's legitimate glory that during 
most of her long reign and through her own policy, 
profound internal peace was preserved in England 

1 Campbell, i. 488; Froude, vii. 270, 413: Traill, iii. 368 3 
Griffis, 154, 


tbrougliout one of the stormiest periods of history. 
Thus the Netherland influences quickly took root 
and greatly thrived. After the capture of Ant- 
werp by the Duke of Parma in 1585, more than 
one third of the merchants and shipmasters of that 
opulent city found homes on the banks of the 
Thames, and in such ports as Yarmouth and Lowe- 
stoft, Boston and Hull. During the reign of 
Elizabeth probably more than 100,000 Dutchmen 
and Flemings became Englishmen. They were 
picked men, and it is safe to say that nearly all 
were Puritans. In point of blood every Nether- 
lander was more than half English already ; a 
slight change of speech was enough to complete 
the transformation, and probably the first genera- 
tion of children were indistinguishable from native 
Englishmen. To this immigration we owe not only 
such family names as Flemino- Hollander, 

Dutch f am- ,--, . ^r 

iiy names aud Grauut, too^ethcr with numerous vans 

Anglicized. , P 

which tell their own story, but also many 
others less obvious, such as Hickman or Bentinck, 
and others that refer to the arts of the Weaver and 
Fuller and Dyer, the Flaxman and Whittier, the 
Bleecker and Limner. Besides this, the immi- 
grants often modified their names by spelling, as 
De Witt into D wight, or simply translated them, 
as Groen into Green, Goudsmid into Goldsmith, 
Timmerman into Carpenter, or Koopnian into Chap- 
man. There is thus strono- OTound for the asser- 
tion of Mr. Griffis, that many Americans who boast 
of their " unmixed English stock '' are descended 
from Dutch or Flemish ancestors who first saw 
England in the Duke of Alva's time. One hardly 


sees how it could be otherwise. In the days of 
Charles I. a considerable part of the rank and file 
of Puritans were children and grandchildren of 
Netherlanders, and of these surely many must have 
been included among the 20,000 who came to New 
England between 1629 and 1640. 

Let us next observe that the separation of 1579 
between the southern and northern states of the 
Netherlands was followed by an extensive migra- 
tion from the former into the latter. Of those 
who could on no account be induced to accept the 
political situation and bow the knee to Spain, many 
went northward into Holland, mostly Pro- Migration of 
testants, skilled artisans, and large and SstantsTnt'o 
small capitalists. The general result was h^i^^^^^- 
greatly to strengthen Holland, and by the same 
token to diminish the life and vigour of the Flem- 
ish provinces. The latter became less enterprising 
and more submissive, and the part which they 
have played in the world since the separation has 
been far less important than that which they played 
in the Middle Ages. After the year 1600 we hear 
much less of Antwerp and Ghent, and much more 
of Amsterdam and Rotterdam than before. Of 
the famous cities of Belgium some, such as Bruges, 
are absolutely smaller now than in the fourteenth 
century ; all save Brussels are relatively of less 
weight ; and while the grade of civilization is very 
high, it is plain that the old preeminence has passed 

The contrast with Holland became so conspic- 
uous soon after the separation as to seem highly 
dramatic. After Parma's capture of Antwerp in 


1585, men fled from it as from a wreck. Within 
twenty years its population had fallen away by 
more than 50,000, while at the same time Amster- 
dam was increasing so fast that temporary booths 
and fragile shanties had to do duty while better 
shops and houses were building ^ — very much as 
in an American western " boom." The fortunes 
Giowthof o^ vfiM\ indeed, were adverse for Ant- 
prov?i"ce?at wcrp ; for the Dutch held Flushing at the 
of'the^^"'^ mouth of the river Scheldt and took toll 
Flemish. q£ ^j| ships goiug up. But the causes 
lay deeper than this, and were connected with 
the rapidly growing power of the Dutch upon the 
ocean, which was itself a consequence of the change 
in the routes of trade wrought by the maritime 
discoveries of the Portuf>"uese. Before the fall of 
Antwerp these causes had been steadily at work 
for eighty years, strengthening the Dutch at the 
expense of their Flemisli brethren, insomuch that 
we may look here for one of the reasons why the 
latter succumbed to Spain and the former did not. 
Let us note what had happened. 

Early in the sixteenth century, after the Turks 
had closed up the Mediterranean routes of Asiatic 
trade, there was a decline in the volume of com- 
mercial transactions of Venice and Genoa, and the 
effects of this were soon apparent in the Low 
Countries. At the same time the ocean route to 

the East Indies, sought in vain by Colum- 
with Poitu- bus, was discovered by the Portuguese, 

who soon controlled the trade of the In- 
dian Ocean and began building up for themselves 

1 Motley, United N ether la?ids, iv. 551. 


an Asiatic empire. This led to a rapid development 
of maritime trade between the Netherlands and 
Lisbon. The shawls of India, the silks of China, 
the dyewood of Sumatra, the spices of the Molucca 
Islands, which had formerly come through Alex- 
andria to Venice, and thence down the Khine 
country to the Netherlands, now came around the 
Cape of Good Hope to Lisbon, and thence to the 
Netherlands by water. This change favoured 
the Dutch at the expense of the Flemish provinces, 
by reason of the much greater length of the Dutch 
coast-line. While Belgium has only forty miles of 
seacoast, Holland has about three hundred and 
fifty. By dint of marvellous energy and skill the 
two little states of Zealand and Holland came to 
be virtually one vast seaport, the great distributing 
centre between Lisbon and the North. A power- 
ful merchant marine had long since been called 
into existence by the herring fisheries ; now its 
volume was rapidly and steadily increased by the 
Lisbon trade, and a considerable share of the pro- 
sperity thus gained for x4.msterdam and Deventer 
and Bergen-op-Zoom was deducted from the pro- 
sperity of Bruges and Ghent and Namur. By the 
end of the sixteenth century the Dutch were the 
foremost power on the sea. 

Now it happened that in 1578 one of the grand- 
sons of Charles V., that King Sebastian of Portu- 
gal who has been made the theme of so 

, . , ^ ^ Seizure of 

many romantic legends, led an expedition Portugal by 
into Morocco and there was slain in bat- 
tle, leaving no issue. His kinsman, Philip 11. of 
Spain, then laid claim to the throne of Portugal, 


and in 1580 seized that kingdom for himself. 
This was the end of the heroic age of Portugal, 
which for the next sixty years was held in unwill- 
ing subjection to Spain. Now in 1580 the war in 
the Netherlands was in its most acute phase. The 
Spanish seizure of Portugal suddenly cut off the 
India trade of the Dutch, but at the same time it 
transformed all the Portuguese colonies ^politically 
into dependencies of Spain, and thus left the 
Dutch free to attack and conquer them wherever 
they were able. The English alliance was now of 
great service to them. The work of crippling the 
Spanish treasury by attacks upon the colonial 
sources of supply, which had been begun by Eliza- 
beth's captains, was visforouslv kept up 

The Dutch i ' o J \. l 

in the East bv tlic Dutcli. After the defeat of the In- 


vincible Armada in 1588 they j^roceeded 
at once to invade the colonial world of Portugal. 
They soon establislied themselves in Java and 
Sumatra, and by 1607 they had gained complete 
j)ossession of the Molucca Islands. Sometimes 
their ships were taken by Spaniards and their sail- 
ors thrown overboard or carried home for the next 
auto-de-fe ; but this happened less and less often. 
Dutch ships became so fleet, so strongly armed, 
and so ably handled, that none save the English 
could compete with them. Thus they soon super- 
seded the Portuguese in controlling the Indian 
Ocean, and began to build up the noble empire 
which Holland j^ossesses to-day in the East Indies, 
with a rich territory four times the size of France, 
a population of 30,000,000, and a trade of which 
the floating capital is more than 1150,000,000. 


At the close of tlie sixteenth century the forma- 
tion of joint-stock companies for large enterprises 
was just coming into vogue. Nowhere else were 
such associations so successful as in London and 
Amsterdam. The founding of the English East 
India Company in 1600 and of the Dutch East 
India Company in 1602 mark an epoch of cardinal 
importance in modern history. The latter was 
" the first great joint-stock company whose shares 
were bought and sold from hand to hand ; " and 
so remarkable was its prosperity that it soon paid 
dividends of sixty per cent.^ So fast grew the 
Dutch colonial empire at Spain's expense that by 
1619 it was found desirable to bring it together 
under a general system of administration, and in 
Java the city of Batavia was built to serve as a 
colonial capital, a kind of Oriental Amsterdam. 
From Java the Dutch dealt with China. One 
memorable result of their presence in the Tea and 
East was the introduction of tea and ^*'^^®' 
coffee into Europe. They bought tea at Chinese 
ports, but presently took the island of Formosa 
and worked it for themselves. At first they car- 
ried Mocha coffee from Arabia to Europe around 
the Cape of Good Hope, but after a while they 
took the Arabian coffee and planted it in Java, 
thus originating a new and excellent variety. 
Within half a century the numerous cafes in Paris 
and coffee-houses in London testified to the social 
virtues of the new beverage. The monopoly of 
the tea and coffee trade was a source of great 
wealth, and not less so was the trade in pepper 

1 Payne, European Colonies, p. 55. 


and spices. The possession of the Moluccas was 
worked for all it was worth from the monopolist's 
point of view. The Dutch iu the islands were too 
few to occupy all the cultivable soil ; therefore 
they occupied the best sj^ots, and destroyed the 
spice trees elsewhere as far as possible, so as to 
keep all European rivals out of the field. More- 
ever, if their crop happened to be very large they 
would burn a part of it in order to keep up the 
price. When they had ousted the Portuguese 
from all their old settlements on the coast of 
Malabar, they acquired a similar control of the 
market for pepper. To this day on the mainland 
of India, in such towns as Chinsurah and Nega- 
patam, and in sundry ports on the Malabar and 
Coromandel coasts, may be seen canals bordered 
with quaint brick houses roofed with tiles, relics 
of the time when the Dutch were masters in those 
neighbourhoods. 1 

With the Malay peninsula and the island of 
Ceylon in their possession, and with the places 
just mentioned in Hindustan, the Dutch found it 
desirable to have a half-way station between Eu- 
rope and the East, and this led to the founding of 
their colony at the Cape of Good Hope. In the 
arduous work of maritime discovery their captains 
took some part. It is often said that Australia 
was discovered by the Dutch in 1605. 

The Dutch i t i i i i i 

iuAustra- I here can be little doubt that the coast 

of that remote continent was visited by 

Portuguese sailors as early as 1542,^ but that event 

1 W. W. Hunter, Imperial Gazetteer of India, vi. 363. 
^ Major, Prince Henry the Navigator, pp. 440-452. 


lapsed into oblivion, and in 1605 tlie discovery 
was made for the second time by the Dutch. For 
two centuries thereafter Australia was commonly 
called New Holland. Between 1640 and 1650 the 
great navigator Abel Tasman explored its coasts,^ 
and also discovered New Zealand and the island 
which he named after Anthonie Van Diemen, 
governor-general of the Indies, but which is now 
more fitly called after himself, Tasmania. 

The English had no mind to allow the Dutch a 
monopoly in these remote enterprises. When 
Drake, in 1579, and Cavendish, in 1588, were cir- 
cumnavigating the globe, they visited the Spice 
Islands and Java, and most friendly overtures 
were made to them by the native chiefs, who de- 
tested the Portuguese. England's hour had not 
quite come, but these things were remembered. 
Soon after 1600 the English East India Company 
began visiting Hindustan and trading in Malaysia, 
and thus they came into collision with the Dutch. 
In 1619 an amicable arrangement was effected, 
whereby the two powers established a joint protec- 
torate over the Spice Islands. The produce was 
to be shared in the proportion of one third for the 
English and two thirds for the Dutch. But peace 
was not preserved. A small party of 
Englishmen settled m the little island of 
Amboyna and went to gathering cloves. For a 
while the Dutch endured the presence of these 
rivals, but the heart of monopoly is hard. Certain 
Japanese servants accused the English of a con- 

1 Collingridge, The Discovery of Australia, Sydney, 1895, 
p. 279. 


spiracy for seizing- the fort and getting control of 
the island. English historians maintain that these 
Japanese were suborned by the Dutch. However 
that may be, Captain Towerson and nine of his 
men were seized and tortured until they confessed 
themselves guilty. Then they were killed and the 
rest of the English were driven from the island. 
This affair, which occurred in 1623, has ever since 
been known in England as " the massacre of Am- 
boyna." Though a slight affair for so grewsome a 
name, it was historically important. The close 
alliance between Dutch and English, which with 
rare exceptions had been maintained for centuries, 
was fast giving w^ay before their keen commercial 
rivalry, and such an incident as that of Amboyna 
sowed seeds of hatred and strife. The English, 
however, did not feel strong enough to dispute the 
Dutch supremacy in the Malay Archipelago. So 
they bent their minds to the Indian mainland and 
within a few years had built the city of Madras 
and laid the foundations of their vast Asiatic 

One of Portugal's dependencies, Brazil, lay west 
of the Atlantic, and thither the Dutch made their 
way in 1624. It had been found that sugar plan- 
tations there, worked by gangs of slaves imported 
from Africa, yielded large profits. For twenty 
The Dutch years the Dutch held the country and 
in Brazil. \^Q^^i quc of tlic Nassau priuccs there as 
stadholder. But the revolt of Portugal from Spain 
was the signal for a revolt in Brazil against the 
Dutch, who were bitterly hated as mono2:)olists and 
as heretics. The Portuguese thus recovered that 


spacious country, but of nearly all their other pos- 
sessions they remained shorn, and never again was 
Portugal the power that it had been in the six- 
teenth century. 

The great length of the voyage to the Spice Is- 
lands, whether eastward around the Cape of Good 
Hope or westward through the Strait of Magellan, 
led to persistent attempts to discover water routes, 
which it was supposed would be more direct, 
through North America or around the north of 
Asia. Not until the seventeenth century was far 
advanced did Europeans obtain definite ideas con- 
cerning the interior of North America and the vast 
continental expanse of Siberia. In the next chap- 
ter we shall see Henry Hudson looking for a north- 
west passage at Manhattan Island, and a long tale 
of suffering and death was necessary before men 
could give up the belief in a pleasant summer sea 
stretching over the unexplored region now known 
to us as icy Siberia. It was Sebastian Arctic ex- 
Cabot, in his old age, who advocated this pioj'^^ions. 
northeastern route to Cathay, and the Muscovy 
Company was founded in London for the purpose 
of exploring it. The first expedition sailed in 
1553, and rounded the North Cape. Two ships 
were lost with all their hands on the wild coast of 
Lapland ; we are told that the gallant commander. 
Sir Hugh Willoughby, was frozen to death as he 
sat writing in his cabin ; ^ the third ship, more 
fortunate, entered the White Sea, and returned to 
England after a hospitable entertainment by the 

1 The story is discredited by Harrisse, John Cabot and Sebas- 
tian his Son, p. 347. 


Russians. Within the next few years English 
mariners discovered Nova Zembla. Then the 
Dutch undertook to go farther, but there was a 
difference of opinion among them. The, grand 
pensionary, Olden Barneveldt, believed that after 
passing the strait between Nova Zembla and the 
Russian mainland, an open sea would be reached 
over which one might comfortably sail to China. 
But the Amsterdam pilot, William Barendz, 
thought it more promising to sail between Nova 
Zembla and the pole. Both methods were tried 
in the years 1594 to 1597. Linschoten sailed 
through the strait to find a sea choked with ice- 
bergs and an atmosphere heavy with blizzards. 
The gallant Barendz discovered Spitzbergen and 
came within ten degrees of the pole, or nearer 
than any navigator had come before. He passed 
around the northern extremity of Nova Zembla 
and was delighted to find a broad, open sea before 
him, but in less than three days a sudden accumu- 
lation of drifting ice had driven him back. No- 
thing in all the history of Arctic adventure is 
more full of romance and heroism than the three 
voyages of William Barendz, in the last of which 
he perished from hardship. A born leader of men, 
a true devotee of science, endless in resources, of 
zeal unquenchable, great-hearted, blithe, and lov- 
able, he stands in the front rank of the world's 
great sailors. 

Curiously enough, only three years after Ba- 
rendz had reached the highest northern latitude 
as yet attained, another gallant Dutch captain ap- 
proached nearer to the south pole than man had 


ever been before. In 1502 Americus Vespucius 
had astonished Europe by his voyage to South 
Geors^ia, in latitude 54° south, where he 

° ' . T The Dutch 

found an antarctic cbniate, and proved intheAnt- 

arctic Ocean. 

that Pomponius Mela was to that extent 
right. In 1599 this record was surpassed by Dirk 
Gerrits, who discovered the desolate country now 
called South Shetland, which seems to be a part 
of the great antarctic continent. At that time 
sailors who passed from the Atlantic Ocean into 
the Pacific still threaded the difficult strait of Ma- 
gellan, for nothing was known about the termina- 
tion of South America. But in 1616 Schouten 
van Horn discovered and doubled the cape which 
still bears his name. 

The facts here grouped together show us vividly 
how, just at the time when the first English col- 
onies were being planted in America, Dutch enter- 
prise was finding its way to every corner of the 
globe. Every part of the story has points of 
interest. But that which most nearly concerns us 
is the search for a northern route to China, for it 
is this quest which brings upon the scene that illus- 
trious navigator, Henry Hudson, and indirectly 
leads to the founding of a New Netherland in the 
most commanding commercial position on the coast 
of North America. 




It seems to be not uncommonly believed, even 
to-day, that Henry Hudson was the discoverer of 
the river that bears his name. But the student 
of history gets accustomed to finding that the be- 
ginnings of things were earlier than had been sup- 
posed. So many famous discoveries have turned 
out to be rediscoveries that we become cautious 
about asserting that any event or achievement was 
the first of its kind. With regard to the Hudson 
River, there can be no sort of doubt that it was 
visited by many Europeans before Hudson, and in 
the story of these earlier voyages there is much 
that is of interest. 

The expeditions of John and Sebastian Cabot, 
in 1497 and 1498, found no traces of civilization, 
or of spices, or gold, or precious stones, on the 
coasts which they visited, and hence their efforts 
were not followed up as otherwise they might have 
been. But one source of wealth attracted their 
attention, the fisheries on the banks of 
foundiand Ncwfouudland. Englishmen were rather 
slow in availing themselves of this infor- 
mation, inasmuch as they had long been accus- 
tomed to find codfish and haddock in plenty in 
the waters about Iceland. But sailors from Portu- 


gal and the Basque provinces of Spain, and in still 
greater numbers from Normand}^ and Brittany, 
soon flocked to the Newfoundland fishing grounds. 
From 1504 to the present moment there has prob- 
ably never been a year when the French flag has 
not been seen and the French language heard 
upon those waters. The name of Cape Breton, 
wliich is perhaps the earliest European name north 
of the West Indies, tells its own story. It is only 
natural to suppose that now and then some hardy 
skipper, impelled by curiosity or in quest of fur- 
ther gains, would cruise along the mainland and 
enter the mouths of the broad rivers ; and so in 
fact it seems to have happened. 

Tlie local annals of Dieppe assure us that on 
the 10th of August, 1508, two ships from that 
port entered a mighty river which they named 
after the patron saint of that day, St. Lawrence.^ 
They ascended the river for eighty leagues, driv- 
ing a lucrative trade in peltries, and 
when they returned to Europe they car- Dieppe saii- 
ried to Rouen seven wild men, who are 
thus described in a chronicle printed at Paris in 
1512 : " They are of a sooty colour, . . . with hair 
black and coarse like a horse's mane ; having no 
beard throughout the whole life. . . . They have 
a speech, but no religion. Their canoe is bark, 
which a man can lift on his shoulders with one 
hand. Their weapons are large bows, the strings 
being intestines or sinews of animals ; their arrows 
are canes barbed with flint or fishbone. Their 

^ Desmarquets, Memoires pour servir a Vhistoire de Dieppe^ Paris, 
1785, i. 100. 


food is boiled flesli, and of bread, wine, or money 
tliey have no knowledge." ^ 

The documentary evidence for this voyage is 
not all that could be desired, but there seems no 
good reason for doubting that it was made. As 
to the naming of the St. Lawrence, it is pretty 
clear that Jacques Cartier gave that name to the 
gulf on the 10th of August, 1535 ; but that is 
eminently one of the kind of incidents that might 
happen twice. 

In this voyage of 1508 the name of one of the 
captains is given as Thomas Aubert, a Frenchman, 
and that of the other as Jean Ycrassen, a Frenchi- 
fied form of the Italian name, Giovanni da Verra- 
zano. Concerning the early life of this famous 
navigator our details are meagre. He was born in 
Giovanni da Floreucc about 1480, and evidently re- 
verrazano. ccivcd a good cducatiou. Hc was one 
of the most highly trained scientific pilots of his 
time, was deeply versed in geographical lore, and 
had a naturalist's eye for the 2:)hysical contour of 
countries and for their plants and animals. The 
Norman city of Dieppe was then one of the busiest 
ports in France, and the place where most atten- 
tion was given to ocean navigation. As Verra- 
zano was enofa^ed there, and in command of a 
ship, at the age of twenty-eight, it was apparently 
after long experience and mature reflection that 
he offered his services to Francis I. to conduct an 
expedition for the discovery of a westward passage 
to Cathay. In the autumn of 1523 he sailed from 
Diej^pe with four ships, but all were disabled in a 

1 Eusebii chronicon, Paris, 1512, fol. 172. 


storm and obliged to put back. Starting again 
with only two ships, he ran down to the Madeira 
islands, and seems to have suffered some further 
mishap, for when he again weighed anchor, on 
January 17, 1524, it was only with a single ship, 
La Dauphine. On the 10th of March he sighted 
land on the North Carolina coast, a little north of 
Cape Fear, — "a new land," Yerrazano 

. . II* -^ ^^^^ land. 

calls it m his letter to the king, " a new 
land never before seen hj men in ancient or mod- 
ern times." He called it " Diepa," an Italianized 
form of Dieppe. This is an eloquent reminder 
of the date of the voyage. Twenty years earlier 
Verrazano would probably have supposed himself 
to be on the coast of Japan, or perhaps of China. 
But since the Portuguese, sailing eastward, had 
reached the Spice Islands in 1511, it had become 
obvious that there was an immense difference in 
longitude between eastern Asia and the coasts dis- 
covered by Columbus. Before Yerrazano started 
on this voyage he must have heard of the circum- 
navigation of the earth by Magellan. So now he 
did not call the American coast by any Asiatic 
name, but simply a " new land." Nevertheless the 
fragrance of spring herbs and flowers in the Caro- 
lina woods set him thinking about spices, and the 
yellow soil suggested gold, as it did in later days 
to the English settlers of Yirginia. 

In his letter Yerrazano tells us : " My intention 
in this voyage was to reach Cathay, on the extreme 
coast of Asia, expecting, however, to find in the 
newly discovered land some such obstacle as I 
found." The problem before him was to find a 


passage tlirougii tins obstacle, and witli this object 
in view lie sailed slowly northward, keeping the 
coast in sight and occasionally landing and par- 
leying with the natives. His vigilance, however, 
seems now and then to have been relaxed. He 
must have passed the entrance to Chesapeake Bay 
by night or too far offshore, or perhaps in a fog, 
for he makes no allusion to such an opening ; but 
when next he landed, it must have been, I think, 
on the Accomac peninsula. There he stayed 
three days, and there he may well have got the 
glimpse of a western sea which had curious re- 
sults. A tramp of ten miles might have taken his 
party to some point like the present site of Hoff- 
mann's Wharf, whence he might look 
neck of land out upou a wastc of watcrs stretcliiug 
boundless uortli, soutli, and west, as far as the eye 
could reach ; and how was he to know 
that this water was not the Pacific Ocean, but 
only a bay which future generations were to call 
by the name of Chesapeake ? If any such inci- 
dent happened, it may seem strange that it should 
not be mentioned in his letter to Francis I. But 
that letter is extremely brief and unsatisfactory, 
and was evidently never intended as a report in 
any full sense of the word. Against this negative 
evidence may be set the fact that after the re- 
turn of the expedition to Europe, the navigator's 
brother, Girolamo Verrazano, made a map which 
shows a long narrow isthmus just about where the 
Accomac peninsula is situated, and on it is the 
inscription : " From this eastern sea one beholds 
the western sea ; there are six miles of land be- 


tween the two." From Florida indefinitely west- 
ward the map shows a narrow mass of continent 
connecting with Mexico and running up to about 
the 37th parallel. Next comes the isthmus just 
mentioned, and to the north of that we come to a 
region which might include the states of New York 
and Pennsylvania, with New England and Canada, 
and which is called Francesca, after Francis I. 
This Chesapeake isthmus is in the map-maker's 
mind the only land connection between the Florida 
region to the south, which he leaves in possession 
of Si)ain, and the region just mentioned to the 
northward, which he claims for France. TheSeaof 
The western shore of the narrow isthmus ^errazauo. 
is washed by a mighty ocean, which covers nearly 
the whole area of the United States, and is con- 
tinuous with the Pacific, thus making an uninter- 
rupted waste of waters from Accomac to China. 
This imaginary sea soon came to be known as the 
Sea of Verrazano, from its discoverer. We find 
it repeated on the important map made by Ves- 
conte Maiollo in 1527, now in the Ambrosian 
library at Milan,i and on a series of other maps, 
including the one which Dr. Michael Lok, of Lon- 
don, made for Sir Philip Sidney in 1582.^ The 
seventeenth century was well advanced before be- 
lief in the Sea of Verrazano had become extinct. 
It is not easy to rid oneself of the feeling that 
this colossal blunder must have originated in gaz- 
ing upon Chesapeake Bay from the Accomac 

1 There is a beautiful reproduction of it in Kretschmer, Die 
Entdeckung Atnerikas, Atlas, xiv. 

2 It is given in my Old Virginia and Her Neighbours, i. GO. 


shore. The late Dr. Justin Winsor suggested 
that the water actually seen might have been 
Pamlico Sound looked at from inside of Cape 
Hatteras. To this view my objection is that Pam- 
lico Sound is too near Verrazano's first landfall at 
Cape Fear, and not near enougli to New York. 
His narrative implies a greater interval of time 
between Cape Fear and the place where he made 
his three days' stop than between the latter place 
and New York. 

However that may have been, there can be no 
doubt whatever as to Verrazano's entering New 
York harbour. Why he should have passed Dela- 
ware Bay and its sentinel capes without mention 
is not obvious, but such difficult questions per- 
petually encounter us in the letters of these old 
navigators. At all events, his description of the 
approach to New York is unmistakable. About 
the middle of April he arrived at Sandy Hook, 
which he called Cape St. Mary, as we learn from 
Maiollo's map. Northward the channel now called 
the Narrows seemed full of promise. The neigh- 
bouring hillsides were alive with peering savages as 
the French ship passed between Staten 

The harbour -^ , , ^ ^ A i i 

of New island and the (iowanus shore and en- 


tered the great landlocked harbour which 

Yerrazano compares to a beautiful lake. At the 

upper end of it was a delightful place among small 

steep hills, between which una gi'cmdissima idviera^ 

a very great river, emptied into the bay. Canoes, 

filled with red men in paint and feathers, darted 

hither and thither. Verrazano does not call the 

river a strait, and did not ascend it in order to find 


an entrance to his western sea ; so that his infer- 
ences from what he saw seem here to have been 
correct. He sailed out between Sandy Hook and 
a point of land which appears on Maiollo's map 
as Angouleme, the name of Francis I.'s countship 
before he became king ; this may have been Coney 
Island. Plere the general trend of the Atlantic 
coast changes, he tells us, toward the east. He 
cruised along the southern shore of Long Island, 
noticing the throng of natives gathering wampum 
at Kockaway Bay, then presently discovered Block 
Island, which he called Louise, after the king's 
mother ; then passing Point Judith, which appears 
on the map as Cape St. Francis, he found himself 
in Narragansett Bay and had a lively parley with 
the Indians. Here he stayed a fortnight ^arragan- 
and explored the whole of the bay, which ^^^^ ^^^' 
seems greatly to have pleased his fancy. He 
called it Refugio, and on several ma23s of the next 
half century it appears as Port de Refuge. The 
accuracy of Yerrazano's astronomical observations 
is shown by his statement that this bay "is situ- 
ated on the parallel of Rome, in 41° 40'." Now 
Newport is in 41° 2W and Providence is 41° 49', 
so that as an average between them his figure is 
correct within thirty seconds ; or if intended for 
the entrance the error of only eleven minutes was 
a very small one for the astrolabes of the sixteenth 

From this harbour of refuge the worthy Floren- 
tine set sail on the sixth of May, passed to the 
south of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, which 
he mistook for portions of the mainland, rounded 


Cape Cod, and went ashore probably -somewhere 
between Nahant and Cape Ann. Here the sailors 
had a scrimmao'e with the Indians, who shot stone- 
tipped arrows among them without killing any- 
body. Some of these belligerent redskins wore 
copper earrings. The country there was densely 
wooded, but as La Dauphine approached the Pis- 
cataqua neighbourhood it became more open, and 
far inland against the northwestern horizon loomed 
the peaks of the White Mountains, some of them 
still streaked and patched with snow. Thence, 
following the coast northeasterly, as far probably 
The coast ^^ *^^^ moutli of tlic Pcuobscot Rivcr, 
of Maine. Yerrazauo was struck with the multitude 
of small islands, all near to the continent, making 
many beautiful bights and canals like those on the 
coasts of lUyria and Dalmatia. At length on the 
tenth of June, as the supply of food was running 
short. La Dauphine turned her prow seaward and 
after a voyage of eight-and-twenty days arrived 
safely at Diep^^e. 

A few years ago an attempt was made to dis- 
credit this letter of Verrazano to Francis I. as an 
ingenious forgery based on the Ribeiro map of 
1529 by some Florentine man of letters. But this 
notion, which never had much to recommend it, 
has been completely exploded.^ The date of the 
Maiollo map has been fixed beyond a doubt at 
1527 ; and for the information contained in it and 
in the map of Girolamo Yerrazano concerning the 
American coast from North Carolina to Maine, 

1 Evidence enough to set the question at rest is adduced in 
Harrisse's Discovery of North America, pp. 214-228. 


there was no possible source except actual explora- 
tion. The letter was dated from Dieppe, verrazano's 
in July, 1524, immediately after the ^^'^*^''- 
ship's return, and its statements are strictly borne 
out by the two maps. Now up to that time there 
was absolutely no map or document of any sort in 
Europe which could have given a forger any infor- 
mation about New York Bay or Narragansett Bay, 
or could have told him that our coast turns east- 
ward from Sandy Hook and northward after pass- 
ing Cape Cod. No man of letters, in his study at 
Florence, could have imagined inland mountains 
visible from a ship's deck, as the White Moun- 
tains are, and then have passed on to the islands 
of the Maine coast and so happily compared them 
to those of Illyria. This was probably the first 
voyage that was made by Europeans between 
Chesapeake Bay and the Bay of Fundy, unless we 
go back to the Icelanders. It is possible that 
John Cabot in 1498 may have come as far south 
as Cape Cod ; ^ Amerieus Vespucius with Vicente 
Pinzon in that same year came perhaps as far 
north as Chesapeake Bay.^ For the first explora- 
tion of the intervening coast, the first mention of 
New York and Narragansett bays, of the White 
Mountains and the romantic coast of Maine, we 
have to thank the Florentine captain, Giovanni 

^ Harrisse Is disposed to allow that Cabot may have followed 
the coast as far south as Florida ; see his Discovery of North 
America, p. 43 ; John Cabot and Sebastian his Son, p. 137. But 
the evidence is far from, satisfactory. 

2 See my Discovery of America, ii. 89. 


This interesting voyage was not vigorously fol- 
lowed np by the French. Their terrible defeat at 
Death of Pavia in 1525 and the captivity of the 
verrazano. \^{Y^g sccm Sufficient to accouut for this. 
As for Yerrazano, he did not long survive. The 
MS. archives of the city of Rouen prove that he 
sailed again in May, 1526, for the American 
coast, and two documents in the archives of Si- 
mancas tell us how in the autumn of 1527 he was 
captured by a Spanish squadron and taken to 
Cadiz, where he was hanged as a pirate.^ 

The next captain to visit the Hudson River was 

the Spaniard, Estevan Gomez, who in 1525 crossed 

the ocean to Labrador and coasted south- 

Voyage of i ^^ t-i • i i i • c 

Gomez, Ward to i^ loricla, looking tor a passage. 
Gomez took notice of Cape Cod, Narra- 
gansett Bay, and both the Hudson and Delaware 

After Gomez we hear no more of Spaniards 
cominir so far north, but there can be little doubt 
that French skippers from time to time visited the 
River of the Steep Hills, and even ascended it as 
far as the site of Albany, in order to get furs from 
the Mohawks. About 1540 they built a fort on 
a long low island on the west side of the river, 
" near the present southern limits of the city of 
Albany," ^ but their work was partially destroyed 

1 The often repeated story tliat Verrazano was devoured by 
Indians is based upon a statement of the Venetian historian 
Ramusio, who misunderstood a passage in Oviedo (lib. xxv. cap. 
vi.), which tells how one " Johan Florin " was eaten by Indians in 
Venezuela in 1528. Verrazano was often called " Johan Florin," 
or John of Florence, so that Ramusio's mistake was a natural one. 

2 Weise, The Discoveries of America^ p. 301. 


by violent freshets. The pilot, Jean Allefonsce, 
of Saintonge, makes mention of this incident in 
the iournal of his voyao:e in 1542. AUe- 

« /^ 1 • 1 -1 Voyage of 

fonsce came to Canada m that year with Aiiefonsce, 

•^ 1542. 

Roberval, and in the course of the sum- 
mer made a voyage by himself and was the first 
to explore in some detail the shores of Massachu- 
setts Bay. He may also have been the first to 
approach New York harbour through Long Island 
Sound ; in one passage he has been supposed to 
describe the dangers of Hell Gate, but his mean- 
ing is not perfectly clear. As for his mention of 
Frenchmen trading far up the Hudson River, it is 
corroborated by important Dutch testimony. In 
1614 a syndicate of Dutch merchants applied to 
the States General of the Netherlands for a sj^ecial 
license to trade up and down that river, and they 
affixed to their petition a manuscript map enriched 
with explanatory notes and memoranda.^ In these 
notes it is stated that the French were the discov- 
erers of the river and had traded there with the 
Mohawks long before Hudson's time. Such testi- 
mony seems conclusive. 

Before passing from the French to tell of the 
coming of the Dutch, some mention should be 
made of a question over which geographers and 
historians have long been puzzled. Immediately 
after Verrazano's voyage there began to appear 
upon maps the name "Norumbega," a name which 

1 The original map is in the Royal Archives at the Hague ; 
there is a copy in the State Library of New York, at Albany. It 
is engraved as frontispiece to 0' Callaghan's History of New 
Netherlands vol. i. 


evidently had for contemporaries mncli meaning, 

bnt wliicli in less than a century fell out 

Norumbega of usc without makmo; ample provision 

question. . • • c i 

for gratiiymg the curiosity of later gen- 
erations. Neither the maps nor the allusions of 
explorers have as yet enabled us fully to solve the 
difficulties presented by this name. We find it 
applied to three things : firsts a spacious territory ; 
secondly^ a river somewhere in that territory; 
thirdly^ a town or village somewhere upon that 

Now the territory called Norumbega does not 
present much difficulty ; it may be roughly defined 
as the land included between the Hudson and the 
Penobscot rivers. It is thus not far from equiva- 
lent to New Enoiand. But when we come to the 
river there is a wide difference of opinion, and as 
to the origin of the name there has been much 
brave guessing. Perhaps the most common opin- 
ion is that the Penobscot was the River of Norum- 
bega, with a village on its bank somewhere up 
country, where European skippers traded with the 
natives for furs ; and the name is often said to be 
Indian. 1 

But a very different explanation of Norumbega, 

1 In recent years it has been maintained, hj the late Professor 
E. N. Horsford, of Canibi-idge, that the liiver of Norumbega was 
the Charles, and that at its junction with Stony Brook stood a 
city founded by Northmen early in the eleventh century ; we are 
asked to believe that after keejjing up a trade with Europe for 
three hundred years this Norse colony vanished, leaving- no trace 
in European tradition, but the Indians remembered its name 
for two centuries longer and imparted that name to the whites, 
Norumbega being the Indian attempt at pronouncing iVorye^a, the 


suggested in 1884 by Arthur James Weise, of Troy, 
has some strong points in its favour.^ Mr. Weise 
maintains that the River of Norumbega was the 
Hudson and that the town was on Manhattan 
Island. The name is evidently connected with 
Verrazano's ^ voyage, and the Hudson River is the 
only one which in his letter he speaks of entering. 
How many other streams he may have entered 
without seeing fit to mention the fact, we cannot 
say ; but clearly the Hudson River and Narragansett 
Bay were the two localities which most deeply im- 
pressed him. He describes the Hudson as a very 
broad river running between small steep hills, 
which indicates that he may have gone up as far 
as Spuyten Duyvil. Now if this was really the 
River of Norumbega, visited and described by this 
party of Frenchmen, it is fair to ask if the name 
may not be some French epithet, mutilated and 
disguised in its pilgrimage among the map-makers. 
Might not the map-name Novumhega be simply a 
Low-Latin corruption of Anormee Berrjo, ? In six- 
teenth century French that means Grand 

Ci 11 11 n 1 1 xi The Palisades. 

jocarp^ and where could one nnd a better 
epithet for the majestic line of cliffs that we call 
the Palisades ? a feature so unusual and so striking 
that one could hardly fail to select it for descrip- 

Latin form of Norway. In accordance with these views a tower 
with a commemorative inscription has been somewhat j)rema- 
turely erected on the supposed site of the city. 

1 The Discoveries of America to the Year 1525. New York, 

■^ It first appears as Aranhega on Hieronimo da Verrazano's 
map, of which there is an engraving in Brevoort's Verrazano the 


tion. The Elver of Norumbega, then, is simply 
the River of the Grand Scarp. It is in favour 
of this view that on some okl maps the name oc- 
curs as Normiibevcj and Anorumherga. But far 
more important testimony may be drawn from the 

Here the question may arise in some minds, why 
should not the maps at once and decisively settle 
the question ? If the River of Norumbega is given 
upon maps under that name, why should we be in 
doubt as to whether it is to be identified with the 
Penobscot, or the Hudson, or with some 

Old maps. . i o a i 

river between them? A modern map 
would not leave us in doubt. Very true. A 
modern map is based upon full and correct know- 
ledge of the country depicted, and its names have 
become firmly attached to the places and objects 
which they denote. The maps of the old explorers 
were based upon scant and fragmentary knowledge, 
eked out by an indefinite quantity of inference, 
some of it sober and more of it wild. Names, 
moreover, once given, were liable to be migratory, 
for an honest skipper might suppose himself to be 
at some particular spot which his predecessor had 
baptized, and yet in reality he might be two or 
three hundred miles away from it. Thus the next 
map might move the name two or three hundred 
miles. Even descriptions would suffer in this 
way ; for your worthy skipper, observing some hill 
or river or wild beast which his predecessor had 
not mentioned because it was not there, would go 
and add it to his predecessor's descriptions, thus 
mingling two true pictures to make one false one. 


It would be hard to find a subject more abounding 
in pitfalls for the unwary than the geography of 
the great ages of discovery, and by the same token 
it would be hard to find a subject more full of 

In most of the sixteenth century maps the coast 
between Chesapeake Bay and the Bay of Fundy, 
the region first mapped by Verrazano, appears in 
a very abridged and sketchy shape. Just oblit- 
erate all the names now familiar to us, take away 
Long Island Sound, and reduce to insignificance 
Nova Scotia, Cape Cod, and the Delaware capes, 
and the map of our Atlantic coast, thus bedevilled, 
loses much of its instructiveness. Most of the 
older maps give to the region now occupied by 
New England a very squeezed look, and the way 
in which your mind works depends more or less 
upon which side you start from. If you carry 
your eye westward from Nova Scotia to a river 
which seems in the right place for the Penobscot, 
and then look for some other familiar feature of 
New England, ten to one you are confronted with 
something in Maryland. Or if you start from 
Chesapeake Bay and look north and east for the 
Hudson River, yon may find it in a plausible posi- 
tion, but your next movement eastward is likely 
enough to drop you in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 
Hence it is not strange that there has been so 
much difficulty in locating the River of Norum- 

Nevertheless the old maps have important testi- 
mony to offer. On many of them we find certain 
important names recurring in the same order of 


sequence. One of those names is Cape St. Helen, 
cabode ii^ latitude 32°, evidently one of the capes 
Arenas. ^^ ^^iQ mouth of Savaunah River. Farther 
north we observe a very prominent cape, one of 
the most prominent features on the whole Atlantic 
coast ; it is usually called Cabo de Arenas, or 
''Sandy Cape," but sometimes appears in French 
as Cap des Sablons, which means the same. This 
prominence has often been identified with Cape 
Cod, but there are serious obstacles to this view. 
On most, if not all, the sixteenth century maps 
tvhere it appears, this sandy cape is placed below 
the 40tli parallel, and usually with much per- 
sistence at the 39th. In the very interesting 
maps of Diego Ribeiro (1529) ^ and Alonso de 
Santa Cruz (1542),^ the Atlantic coast between 
Florida and Newfoundland is divided into two 
great regions called the Land of Ayllon and the 
Land of Gomez. The former corresponded roughly 
with the territory of the Virginia Company, and 
was named for Lucas d' Ayllon, who in 1526 made 
a disastrous attempt to found a Spanish colony on 
James River .^ The region named for the navigator 
Gomez corresponded roughly with New England. 
Now both Ribeiro and Santa Cruz place the Cabo 
de Arenas in the northern part of the Land of 
Ayllon, a position which might answer for Cape 
Henlopen, but not at all for Cape Cod. Again, 
the historian Gomara, in a deeply interesting pas- 

1 Kretzsclimer, Die EntdecTcung Amerikas ; Atlas., xv. 

2 A facsimile was published by the Swedish Staff-General, 
with notes by E. W. Dahlgren, Stockholm, 1892. 

^ See my Discovery of America, ii. 490. 



O S T R^C ^ 







^^^i. Ji ^/,^^lL-j' ^- 


S-. ('/^^ 




sage wherein lie gives many distances along tlie 
Atlantic coast, not only gives the latitude of Cabo 
de Arenas as 39°, but makes it 210 Spanish leagues 
distant from the Savannah Kiver, thus clearly in- 
dicating Cape Henlopen.i The large river, then, 
which appears on many old maps immediately 
north of Cabo de Arenas is the Delaware. It is 
called Kio de San Antonio, a name which Gomez 
bestowed probably upon the Hudson, but which 
was often shifted to the Delaware.'^ 

The correct identification of Cabo de Arenas is 
of vital importance. Fifty leagues or so to the 
north of it the coast-line bends rather abruptly to 
the eastward. Now if Arenas is Cape Cod, this 
eastward trend must be that of the Maine coast, 
and the great river hard by, which often bears the 
name of Norumbega, must be the Penobscot. But 
if Arenas is Cape Henlopen, the eastward trend 
must be that of the coast of Long Island, and the 
River of Norumbega must be the Hudson. 

In this connection the map made by Gastaldi, in 
Venice, about 1550, is instructive.'^ It is under 
obligations to Yerrazano ; it calls the TheGastaWi 
Coney Island region Angoulcme, and ™^'^' 
Narragansett Bay a Port of Refuge. The Hudson 
River is carried up to its junction with the Mo- 

1 Gomara, Historia general de las Indias, Saragossa, 1552, 
cap. xii. 

^ Oil Dr. Dee's map (1580) the Delaware is called San Antonio 
and the Hudson (on which appears Norumbega) is called the 
River Gamas {i. e. Gomez). A rough sketch of this map is given 
in Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist., iv. 98. 

^ It is engraved in Ramusio, Navigationi e Viaggi, Venice, 
1556, iii. 353. 


hawk, and even higher, to an imaginary junction 
with the St. Lawrence. Now on this map Normii- 
bega is plainly comprised between the Hudson 
River and Narragansett Bay, over the mouth of 
which Block Island keeps a strict watch. 

But far more decisive is the testimony of the 
great Flemish geographer, Gerard Kramer, whose 
Mercators Latiuizcd name of Mercator is familiar 
map of 1569. ^^ evcrybody who uses an atlas or sails a 
ship. Mercator made several maps of the world, 
which are all of the highest value as showing the 
progress that was achieved between them. On 
one of these maps, made at Duisburg in 1569,^ 
the Hudson River is so clearly indicated, midway 
between Cabo de Arenas (Cape Henlopen) and 
Claudia (Block Island), that there could be no 
two opinions about it even if it had no name 
attached. But it has a name attached, and that 
name is Hlviere Grande^ the Great River, a name 
appropriated to the Hudson at that day and by 
which it continued to be known long after Hud- 
son's time. The bay of New York is at its foot, 
and far up country the Mohawk is seen entering 
it ; hypothetical mountains are shown as the source 
of both rivers. Now on this map the territorial 
name, Noromhega^ has its first three letters on the 
west side of the Hudson River and its final a comes 
due north of Block Island, thus agreeing with the 

^ The original is preserved in the Stadtbibliothek at Breslau. 
A superb facsimile, in eight sheets of elephant folio size, \vas 
published at Berlin in 1S91 by the Gesellschaft flir Erdkunde. 
There is a reproduction of the part which gives the American 
coast in Weise's Discoveries of America, p. oGO. 


Gastaldi map just mentioned. But there is some- 
thing better yet. East of the river and at the 
head of New York Bay is a tiny picture of a vil- 
lage with a fort, and this village is labelled JVo- 
romhega in smaller type than the territorial name 
just above it. Here, then, we seem to have the 
testimony of one of the greatest geographers of the 
sixteenth century, that the River of Norumbega 
was the Hudson, and that the village of Norum- 
bega was at the head of the bay into which it 
empties, that is to say, on Manhattan Island. 

The original of this map is in the National 
Library at Paris, and in the same library is a 
manuscript folio of 194 leaves written Aiiefonsce's 
by Jean Allefonsce, the navigator al- ^^^""^^^^p*- 
ready mentioned. From this document it would 
appear that Allefonsce sailed up the River No- 
romhegue at least as far as the site of Pough- 
keepsie, for he found the water tasting salt at a 
distance of ninety miles from the sea. This is 
true of the Hudson, but could not be said of the 
Penobscot, where the tide rises only as far as 
Bangor, about sixty miles from the sea. We fur- 
ther learn that the French fort of Norombegue was 
situated on a small island [or partly submerged 
isthmus] in a lake upon the island of Manhattan. 
In other words it was a little north of the present 
City Hall. The lake, which the Dutch used to 
call sometimes the Collect, sometimes the Fresh 
Water, was a familiar feature in New York until 
after the present century had come in. John Fitch 
used it for experiments with a small steamboat in 
1796. It covered a large part of the Five Points 


neiglibourliood. Here, we are told, French fur 
traders had a village and blockhouse^ in 1540; 
and such was then the city of Norumbega. It 
may well have been in its origin an Indian village, 
most opportunely situated between the peltries of 
the upper country and the great aboriginal wam- 
pum fields of Long Island. 

The details of Mercator's map are closely fol- 
lowed by another eminent geographer, Abraham 
Ortelius, in his map of 1570 ;2 and the same con- 
clusion as to Norumbega seems borne out by the 
maps of Rascicotti (Venice, 1583) ^ and 
other maps. Q^^.j^^^-^^g Wytflict (Louvaiu, 1597).^ In 

strong contrast with these is the vague and con- 
fused treatment of Cornelius de Judseis (Antwerp, 
1593) 5 and Matthias Quadus (Cologne, 1608) ; ^ 
while a haziness of conception that lends itself 
readily to the Penobscot theory may be seen in the 
maps of Pierre Desceliers (Arques, 1546) " and 
Franciscus Hoeius (Amsterdam, cir. 1600).^ The 

1 Perhaps on the isthmus between the Collect and Little Col- 
lect, where a powder magazine was built in 1728. See below, 
vol. ii. pp. QS, 71, 72. 

" No rdenskj old's Facsimile- Atlas, xlvi. 

^ Remarkable Maps of the Bodel Nyenhuis Collection at Leyden, 
Amsterdam, 1894, xii. 

■* Nordenskjold, li., but the good Wytfliet's latitudes are out 
of joint. 

^ Id., xlviii. 

6 Id., xlix. 

'^ Kretschmer, Die Entdeckung Amerikas ; Atlas, xvii. 

^ Remarkable Maps, etc., vii. In this map C. de Arenas is 
placed below 40°, but its shape is made strikingly like that of 
the Cape Cod peninsula ; and the river usually labelled Grande 
is moved eastward from the name Grande, which is attached to a 
much smaller river. 





tendency to identify the River of Norumbega with 
the Penobscot grew with the lapse of time, and 
there the good Champlain searched for " the city " 
in 1604 as far as the site of Bangor, but sought in 

This sokition of the Norumbega problem seems 
to me the one that best harmonizes with such data 
as are accessible, but the subject is not one which 
admits of dogmatic assurance. However it may 
come out with Norumbega, it is clear that for a 
quarter of a century or more after the voyage of 
Verrazano the Hudson River was visited by French 
fur traders, and that they had blockhouses on 
Manhattan Island and at Albany. Then there 
seems to have been a falling off in these 
French visits ; at least we hear no more cessation of 
about them ; and this falling off may well tivity on the 


have been the reason why the position 
and meaning of Norumbega were forgotten. Of 
expeditions supported by the crown there seem to 
have been none after Roberval and Allefonsce 
until the beginning of the seventeenth century, — 
an interval of sixty years. This cessation of mari- 
time enterprise was probably due to the absorption 
of France in the Huguenot struggle, including 
thirty-six years of civil war. From the accession 
of Henry II. in 1547 down to the Edict of Nantes 

1 On Champlain's map of 1612 (see Winsor, Narr. and Crit. 
Hist., iv. 381), the Penobscot River is called Naranberga. Per- 
haps the latest occurrence of the name is on the map made by 
Lucini for Robert Dudley's Arcano del Mare, Florence, 1647, an 
engraving- of which is given in 0' Callaghan's Documentary History 
of New York, Albany, 1849, vol. i. Here the territorial name 
stands upon the locality of the White Mountains. 


in 1598, we need not be surprised at the absence 
of any traces of French voyages to America, ex- 
cept for the fishing on the banks of Newfoundland, 
which was an industry too solidly established to 
be easily overthrown. 

It was early in this period of French quiescence 
beyond sea that the English formed their first 
joint-stock company for the prosecution 
Muscovy of maritime trade and colonization. This 
ompany. ^^^ ^^^ Muscovy Company, incorporated 
in February, 1555, for the purpose of trading with 
Russia and discovering a northeastern passage to 
the Indies. Its first governor was the veteran navi- 
gator, Sebastian Cabot, who had lately returned 
from the Spanish into the English service, and 
one of its founders and directors or assistants was 
a Henry Hudson. With the careless prodigality 
of spelling characteristic of that age, the name of 
this gentleman occurs in more than thirty differ- 
ent forms, including such aberrations as Herdson, 
Hodgson, Iluddesdon, and Hogeson, so that when 
modern scholars began looking him up, a good 
deal of patient research was required to prove his 
identity under so many disguises. This Henry 
Hudson, described in legal documents as Gentle- 
man, was a citizen of London, a member of the 
guild of Tanners, one of the twelve companies from 
which the Lord Mayor must be chosen. He was 
alderman of London at the time of the founding 
Alderman ^^ ^^^^ Muscovy Company, and is often 
Hudson. mentioned as Alderman Hudson. Beside 
his great wealth acquired in trade, he was lord of 
at least a dozen ancient manors, some of which 


had been conferred upon him by Henry VIII. out 
of the spoils of the monasteries. This Alderman 
Hudson died of a malignant fever in December, 
1555, and was buried in the church of St. Dun- 
stan's in the East, where his monument is still to 
be seen. He was noted for his public spirit and 
benevolence, and had the respect and confidence 
of all classes of people. 

Of Alderman Henry Pludson's eight sons, the 
eldest, Thomas Hudson, who lived at Mortlake on 
the Thames, was a friend of the learned 

I ^ Thomas 

and eccentric philosopher, Dr. John Dee, Hudson, of 

'^ , ^ . Mortlake. 

whose private diary, published by the 
Camden Society, gives interesting information 
about him. We learn that among his intimate 
friends were Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Sir Francis 
Walsingham, Sir Walter Raleigh, Rev. Richard 
Hakluyt, and the great Arctic navigator, John 
Davis. We find that in 1583 this Thomas Hudson 
took part in a conference of such choice spirits in 
planning the voyages which have left the name 
of Davis upon the western gateway to the Arctic 
Ocean ; and a cosy picture it is wjien Queen Eliza- 
beth one winter day, after a noon dinner at Wal- 
singham's house at Richmond, passes Dr. Dee's 
door and calls out to him, whereupon he walks by 
her horse's side and chats with her till they reach 
Mr. Hudson's dwelling.^ 

It seems to have been a different Thomas Hud- 
son, of Limehouse, below London, who in 1579, 
in the service of the Muscovy Company, commanded 
an expedition to Archangel, and thence across 

1 Read's Hudson^ p. 54. 


country and down the Volga to Astrakhan, and 

so on over the Caspian Sea to Persia. 

Hudson, of Hakluyt's narrative shows this Captain 

Limeliouse. ttijII c i 

Muason to nave been a man or nerve and 
resource. There was also a Christo2)her Hudson, 
whose career as agent of the Muscovy Company 
we can follow from his appointment in 1560 to 
1601, when we lose sight of him. He was a man 
of great and varied abilities, and deeply interested 
both in Arctic exploration and in what was then 
called " western planting " or the founding of colo- 
nies in America. He seems to have been a son of 
Sir Christopher, brother of Alderman Hudson. Into 
the relationships of these worthies we can go just 
far enough to be tantalized, for in matters of gene- 
alogy a miss is as bad as a mile ; but there are fair 
grounds for believing them all to have been kins- 
men. It has been conjectured that Henry Hudson 
the Navigator was the grandson of Al- 
soi"uie " derman Hudson. The moment at which 
avigaoi. i^ig^Qjy f^Y^t actually knows him is the 
first day of May, 16 OT, when he sailed from Green- 
wich in command of an Arctic expedition, but we 
also know that he was a citizen of London ; and 
the Dutch historian. Van Meteren, who was consul 
at London, tells us that there was a warm friend- 
ship between Henry Hudson and Captain John 
Smith. We learn from documents collected by 
Hakluyt that it was a custom for members of the 
Muscovy Company to apprentice their children in 
the art of navigation for the Comj^any's service. 
It therefore seems highly probable that Henry 
Hudson, as member of a family which had already 


for two generations been devoted to the interests 
of Arctic navigation, had grown up in the employ 
of the Company. In 1607 and 1608 he made two 
voyages in its service. In the first he 
tried to penetrate between Greenland and second 
Spitzbergen, in the hope of 2)assing across ^'^■^^^^^' 
the North Pole and finding beyond some available 
stretch of water over which he could sail to the 
eastern ports of Asia. In the second voyage Hud- 
son tried to pass between Spitzbergen and Nova 
Zembla. In this high latitude he tells us that on 
the morning of the 15th of June two o£ his sailors 
saw a mermaid, who came close to the ship's side 
and gazed earnestly at them. Her face and breasts 
were those of a woman, but below she was a fish 
as big as a halibut, and in colour like a speckled 
mackerel.^ It has been plausibly conjectured that 
this creature might have been a seal, an animal 
which at that time had seldom been seen by Eng- 
lish sailors. 

Although neither of these voyages accomplished 
its purpose, yet on his return to England in Au- 
gust, 1608, Hudson found himself famous. He had 
been nearer the pole than any man before him, and 
his superb seamanship was widely reported. Natu- 
rally the Dutch East India Company felt Hudson en- 
that if he were to undertake a third voy- ^^^^ S the "^ 
age, it had better be in their behalf than J^ldifc^m- 
in that of their English rivals. Their p^^^- 
offers w^ere probably made through his friend, 

1 Purchas His Pilgrimes, iii. 575. The same explanation suits 
the mermaid seen by Captain Richard Whitbourne, off the New- 
foundland coast; see my Old Virginia and Her Neighbours, i. 201. 


the Dutch consul Van Meteren, but how they pre- 
vailed upon him to leave the English service, we 
do not know. One Dutch historian, Adrian van 
der Donck, who wrote in 1650, assures us that 
Hudson had before 1607 spent several years in 
Holland, and this may be the source of the tradi- 
tion which paints him as in some indescribable way 
half a Dutchman, and affectionately calls him Hen- 
drik Hudson. But Van der Donck is notoriously 
untrustworthy for matters outside of his own per- 
sonal knowledge ; he no more thinks of sifting his 
statements than any other old gossip. If Hudson 
had spent much time in Holland he could hardly 
have failed to know something about the language, 
which is so like our own and so easy to learn. It 
was Hudson's friend Van Meteren who declared 
that English was only " broken Dutch." ^ But 
Hudson in 1608 knew scarcely a word of Dutch. 
In the fourteenth century, a set of sailing direc- 
tions for the northern seas was written in Icelandic 
by Ivar Bardsen, steward of the bishopric of 
Gardar, in Greenland. This was translated into 
Dutch about 1592 by the illustrious pilot, William 
Barendz, of whom I gave some account in the 
preceding chaj^ter. When this version was shown 
to Hudson he was unable to use it, and it was then 
translated into English for his especial behoof. 
This English version, used by Hudson, was pub- 
lished at Albany in 1869. As for Hudson's name, 

^ William Bradford, on the other hand, an excellent linguist, 
calls Dutch a '" strange and uncouth language " {History of the 
Plimoth Plantation, p. 11) ; but he heard it with the ears of an 


the Dutch contract drawn up by Dutch lawyers 
at Amsterdam, under which he sailed, calls him 
Henry. Instead of being half naturalized in Hol- 
land, he was evidently a stranger there, invited 
because of the sudden fame of his two recent 
voyages. He was the Nan sen of the year 1608. 

Others than the Dutch directors were eager to 
secure the great sailor's services. Henry lY. of 
France wished to establish a French East India 
Company and find work for it, so that he too was 
interested in an Arctic passage to Cathay, and his 
ambassador at the Hague approached Hudson on 
the subject. One grave source of weakness in the 
Netherlands was an excess of state sovereignty, 
which was apt to impair unity of action. Even 
the great commercial company must have its sepa- 
rate chambers to represent the interests of difPer- 
ent localities. The Amsterdam chamber had no 
power to make a contract that would bind the 
whole Company, and the next general meeting 
would come too late for starting such a voyage in 
the spring of 1609. But while things were thus 
pending, news of the French ambassador's over- 
tures reached the Amsterdam directors, and they 
instantly assumed the responsibility of sending 
Hudson out. Thus we may with peculiar propriety 
call New York the child of Amsterdam. 

It was on the 4th of April, 1609, that Henry 
Hudson set sail on the Zuyder Zee. His equip- 
ment for penetrating the polar seas was such as 
to make us marvel at the mighty courage which 
could undertake such arduous work with such 
slender means. One little yacht, of eighty tons 


burden, with a crew of sixteen or eighteen sailors, 
— that was all. The mate was a Netherlander, 
and about half the crew were English. The re- 
cords of voyages were now much better kept than 
in Verrazano's time. Sebastian Cabot had intro- 
duced the sailors of the Muscovy Company to the 
practice of keeping log-books, with observations 
systematically recorded from day to day. Plud- 
son's movements, therefore, present us with com- 
paratively few difficulties. lie doubled 
fled at Nova tlic Nortli Cape ou thc 5th of May, and 
headed for Nova Zembla. But the sea 
was so full of ice that the prospect of getting 
through was dismal, and the little crew became 
mutinous. Hudson was required by his instruc- 
tions to return to Amsterdam in case of failure to 
find a passage liere, but he had expedients of his 
own in mind, and 2>robably felt that in an enter- 
prise of such magnitude his own discretion must 
be allowed to count for something. He had not 
yet tried the northwestern routes ; he might sail 
through either Davis Strait or Frobisher Strait 
and see what he could find beyond. 

But yet another and perhaps more promising 
course was open. There was the great Verrazano 
Sea, behind Virginia ; he might try to find a pas- 
sage into that. Nothing had as yet occurred to 
refute the belief in such a sea. It is true that 
Fernando de Soto had reached the Mississippi 
River, and Cabe^a de Yaca had gone through 
Texas, and Coronado had visited the pueblos of 
New Mexico. These discoveries are reflected in 
Michael Lok's map of 1582, which shows a solid 


continent from Florida to the Gulf of California, 
reaching up in many places to the 40th parallel. 
But north of this and west of Norumbega j^^^^,^ „,^p 
this map shows the enormous Sea of Ver- s";lth?" 
razano sweeping over the whole of North ^^"®^' 
America, and divided from the Atlantic only by a 
narrow isthmus just at the 40tli parallel. One 
might still hope somewhere about here to find a 
strait. In the preceding summer John Smith had 
explored Chesapeake Bay and entered the Po- 
tomac, Patapsco, and Susquehanna rivers. There 
was no passage there, but there might be one a 
little further north. So Smith thought, and so 
he had written to Hudson, who had received the 
letter at Amsterdam and had it with him now. 
When Hudson explained the matter, it was de- 
cided to cross the Atlantic and look for a north- 
west passage in latitude 40°. Thus curiously is 
the name of John Smith linked with the begin- 
nings of American history in the middle as well 
as in the southern and northern zones. Smith was 
the saviour of Virginia, he gave to New England 
its name, and he was instrumental in sending the 
Dutch to Manhattan ! 

These northern voyages of Hudson, aside from 
their intrinsic interest in the history of navigation, 
are memorable for two things. First, they revealed 
the existence of whales in vast numbers -^^aie- 
about Spitzbergen, larger and better in ^^^^^^y- 
bone and blubber than any hitherto known, and 
thus they led to a revival and extension of whale- 
fishery, in which Holland kept the lead until the 
beginning of the nineteenth century. Secondly, 


on the 21st of May, 1G09, while doubling the 
North Cape on his return to the Atlantic waters, 
Hudson made the first recorded observation of a 
sun spot. It was a year and a half later 
that sun spots were observed by Hariot 
and again by Galileo, to the holy indignation of 
good Aristotelians, who deemed it flat blasphemy 
to say that the Eye of the Universe could suffer 
from ophthalmia ! 

Nine days after passing the North Cape, the 
little Half Moon put in at the Faroe Islands, and 
the casks were filled w^ith fresh water. On the 
3d of June the sailors were surprised at the force 
Hudson goes ^^ ^^^^ currcut whicli wc call the Gulf 
["lie seaof'^ Stream. On the 18th of eluly they ar- 
verrazano. y\yq({ \i\ Peuobscot Bay, witli forcmast 
gone and sails much the worse for wear. Here 
they anchored and went ashore to cut a pine-tree 
for a new foremast. It took them a week to make 
the mast and repair their sails, and meanwhile 
they must have lived like princes, for they caught 
fifty cod, a hundred lobsters, and one great hali- 
but. They were visited by two French shallops 
full of Indians, who offered them fine beaver skins 
in exchange for red cloth. Nine days after leav- 
ing Penobscot Bay the Half Moon anchored near 
Cape Cod, and another day brought her to Old 
Stage Harbour, on the south side of that penin- 
sula. On the 18th of August, amid gusts of wind 
and rain, she was off the Accomac peninsula and 
sighted an opening, probably Machipongo Inlet, 
which Hudson mistook for the James Eiver. 
" This," he says, " is the entrance into the King's 


River in Virginia, where our Englishmen are." 
He made no attempt to visit them, j^erhaps be- 
cause he may have been conscious that Dutch 
explorers upon this coast would be regarded by- 
Englishmen as poachers. Presently turning north- 
ward, he entered Delaware Bay on the 28th of 
August, and began taking soundings. He found 
many shoals, and several times the Half Moon 
struck upon the sands ; the current, moreover, set 
outward with such force as to assure him that he 
was at the mouth of a large and rapid river. This 
was not encouraging, for a large river, dischar- 
ging loads of sand, implied something more than a 
narrow neck of land behind it. Before daybreak 
he weighed anchor, and on the 3d of September 
dropped it again somewhere between Sandy Plook 
and Staten Island, as Yerrazano had done eighty- 
five years before. 

When the Half Moon entered the great bay, 
says the mate's journal, " the people of the coun- 
try came aboard of us, seeming very glad of our 
coming, and brought greene tobacco, and gave us 
of it for knives and beads. They goe in deere 
skins loose, well dressed. They have yel- ^iie Half 
low copper. They desire cloathes, and £bou?of^ 
are very civill. They have great store ^^^^ork. 
of maize or Indian wheat, whereof they make 
good bread. The countrey is full of great and 
tall oakes. . . . Some of the people were in man- 
tles of feathers, and some in skinnes of divers 
sorts of good furres. Some women also came to 
us with hempe. They did weare about their neckes 
things of red copper. At night they went on land 


againe, so wee rode very quiet, but durst not trust 

It soon appeared that this suspiciousness was 
well founded. Next day the ship's boat was sent 
out toward Bergen with five men to make some 
observations ; on their way back they were assailed 
by a score of Indians in canoes, and one English- 
man v/as killed with an arrow. As the Half Moon 
passed on up the river she was occasionally saluted 
with flights of arrows, and sometimes these volleys 
were answered by musket shots with deadly effect. 
On the 14th of September the ship passed between 
Stony and Yerplanck's points and entered 

The Half *^ . ^._ ^ f ^ ^ 

Moon in the upou thc magnillcent scenery oi the Cat- 
skills. On the 22d she had probably 
gone above the site of Troy, and the boat found 
only seven feet of water, so that progress was 
stopped. On the way down there were some ad- 
ventures. '' The people of the mountaynes," says 
the journal, " came aboord us, wondring at our 
ship and weapons. We bought some small skinnes 
of them for trifles. This afternoone, one canoe 
kept hanging under our sterne with one man in it, 
which v/e could not keepe from thence, who got up 
by our rudder to the cabin window, and stole out 
my pillow, and two shirts, and two bandeleeres. 
Our master's mate shot at him . . . and killed 
him. Whereupon all the rest fled away, some in 
their canoes, and some leapt out of them into the 
water. We manned our boat and got our things 
againe. Then one of them that swamme got hold 
of our boat, thinking to overthrow it. But our 
cooke took a sword and cut off one of his hands, 


and he was drowned. By this time the ebbe was 
come, and we weighed and got down two leagues." 
On another occasion there was quite a skirmish, 
the barbarians swarming by hundreds in their 
bark canoes and shooting persistently, though with 
little effect, while the ship's cannon sank them and 
musketry mowed them down. But the meetings 
were sometimes more friendly. Somewhere near 
the site of Catskill, "I sailed to the shore," says 
Hudson, " in one of their canoes, with an old man, 
who was the chief of a tribe, consisting of forty 
men and seventeen women ; these I saw there in a 
house well constructed of oak bark, and circular in 
shape, so that it had the appearance of being well 
built, with an arched roof. It contained a great 
quantity of maize . . . and beans of the last year's 
growth, and there lay near the house for the pur- 
pose of drying, enough to load three ships, besides 
what was growing in the fields. On our coming 
into the house, two mats were spread out to sit 
upon, and immediately some food was Indian 
served in well made red wooden bowls ; ^hospitality. 
two men were also despatched at once with bows 
and arrows in quest of game, who soon after 
brought in a pair of pigeons which they had shot. 
They likewise killed a fat dog, and skinned it 
with great haste, with shells which they had got 
out of the water. They supposed that I would 
remain with them for the night, but I returned 
after a short time on board the ship. The land 
is the finest for cultivation that I ever in my life 
set foot upon, and it also abounds in trees of every 


This picture of Indian hospitality, with its festal 
dish of dog, is one with which we are all familiar 
in books. On coming out of the great river, on 
the 4th of October, Hudson left behind him the 
shore which the natives called Manna-hatta, and 
on the next day he sailed out through the Narrows, 
and headed for Europe. On the 7th of November 
the Half Moon arrived at Dartmouth, and the Eng- 
lishmen in the crew compelled the captain to land 
there. He sent to Amsterdam a report of the voy- 
age, with a request for more money and half a 
dozen fresh men in place of the unruly ones ; then 
he proposed to start in March on a fresh search for 
the northwest passage. When this letter reached 
Amsterdam the directors instructed Hud- 
turns to the son to come first to Holland. But mean- 
the Muscovy whilc King Jauics had interfered with 
an order forbidding him to leave the 
country. The foreigners were not to be allowed 
to have so valuable a man, and so Hudson was 
unceremoniously brought back into the service of 
the Muscovy Company. The Half Moon was sent 
on her way to Amsterdam, a new ship was fitted 
up by Sir Dudley Digges and others, and in the 
following April our bold navigator set sail once 
more for the New World. 

The voyage was full of hardship as the ship 
made her way into the great inland water which has 
His last ^^^^ since been known as Hudson's Bay, 
voyage. y^^^ ought rather to be called Hudson 
Sea, since it is bigger than the Black and Caspian 
together. From the 3d of November, 1610, till 
the 18th of June, 1611, the ship was locked in ice 


in James's Bay, at its southern extremity. During 
this long and unexpected delay the supply of food 
fell short and Satan found mischief for idle hands 
and busy brains. The crew insisted upon return- 
ing home as soon as the ice should break up, but the 
captain, nourishing his great purpose and finding 
himself on this broad western sea, naturally wished 
to press On westward. Perhaps the summer might 
show that he had already cleared the barrier be- 
tween the Atlantic Ocean and the waters that 
washed the coast of Asia. An Indian came on 
board one day with a poniard, which Hudson be- 
lieved to be of Mexican make, and this confirmed 
him in the belief that he must be near the Pacific 
coast, where he might find fresh supplies. Fish 
could be caught in considerable numbers, but there 
was scarcely bread enough to last a fortnight. 
On the ship was a young man named Henry Green, 
of worshipful parents but of fro ward and unseemly 
life, whom the captain had befriended and sought 
to reform and to have for his secretary. This 
viper devised a mutiny ; and on midsummer day, 
three days after leaving winter quarters, Henry 
Hudson, with his son John Hudson,^ and seven 
sick men, were set adrift in an open boat His tragic 
upon that waste of waters, while the ship ^^^^' 
faced about for England. Our chronicler tells us 
with satisfaction that before reaching the ocean 
the faithless Green and his abettors were slain by 
the Indians. On arriving in England the crew 
were thrown into jail and an expedition was sent 
out in search of the great navigator ; but in spite 

1 Asher's Hudson, i>. 122 ; Read's Hudson, pp. 167, 172. 


of diligent seeking no more was ever seen or heard 
of Henry Hudson. 

The man who came to such an untimely end was 
a notable instance of the irony of human destiny. 
Of all the searchers for a northerly route to the 
Indies none was ever more persistent or more de- 
voted than he. In the brief four years during 
which we can follow his career he tried four ways 
of finding it, — the way across the pole, the way 
by Nova Zembla, by the imaginary sea of Verra- 
zano, and by the veritable sea of Hudson. Had 
his life been spared we should doubtless have seen 
him enter the bay afterward discovered by Baffin, 
the route by which success could be attained, but 
only with modern resources and in the middle of 
the nineteenth century. In all that he attempted 
he failed, and yet he achieved great results that 
were not contemplated in his schemes. He started 
two immense industries, the Spitzbergen whale- 
fisheries and the Hudson Bay fur trade ; and he 
brought the Dutch to Manhattan Island. No real- 
ization of his dreams could have apj^roached the 
astonishing reality which would have greeted him 
could he have looked through the coming centuries 
and caught a glimpse of what the voyager now 
beholds in sailing up the bay of New York. But 
what perhaps would have surprised him most of 
all would have been to learn that his name was to 
become part of the folk-lore of the beautiful river 
Hudson in ^o wliicli it is attached, that he was to 
folk-lore. figure as a Dutchman, in spite of him- 
self, in legend and on the stage, that when it is 
thunder weather on the Catskills the children 


should say it is Hendrik Hudson playing at skittles 
with his goblin crew. Perhaps it is not an un- 
kindly fate. Even as Milton wished for his dead 
friend Lycidas that he might become the genius of 
the shore, so the memory of the great Arctic navi- 
gator will remain a familiar presence among the 
hillsides which the gentle fancy of Irving has 
clothed with undying romance. 



To any one whose mind is accustomed to dwell 
upon the tremendous and world-wide nature of the 
issues that were decided in 1759 upon the Heights 
of Abraham, there is something romantic in the 
fact that in the summer of 1609 the first founders 
of the Dutch, the French, and the English powers 
in America were pursuing their adven- 

Significance 5^ 

of the year turous work out a fcw hundred miles 

1G09. , , 

apart. While Hudson in September was 
sailing on the ^' River of the Mountains," we may 
wonder if any rumour can have reached him of the 
wild fight in July, when Champlain defeated the 
Mohawks by the forest-clad shores of the beautiful 
" Lake of the Iroquois," better known now by the 
name of the victor than of the vanquished. In 
that same September, hard by the falls of the 
James River, John Smith was holding friendly 
parley with the tribe that had adopted him, and 
bought of them the tract of land where the city of 
Richmond now stands. In the previous summer 
of 1608 Smith had met a party of Iroquois on the 
Susquehanna, and had entertained them in ami- 
cable discourse. Thus the first Englishman ever 
seen by those tawny lords of the wildern^s came 
to them as a friend, while the French were now 


making them deadly enemies. The shots fired by 
Champlain, so few miles from the river on which 
the Half Moon was sailing, determined that what- 
ever colony hostile to France should be planted at 
the mouth and along the banks of that river should 
enjoy the friendship and alliance of the strongest 
confederacy of Indians upon the American conti- 
nent. It made the Iroquois the allies first of the 
Dutch and afterward of the English ; and this is 
one of the great central and cardinal facts in the 
history of the New World. Had the Iroquois 
been the allies of the French, it would in all prob- 
ability have been Louis XIV., and not Charles 11. , 
who would have taken New Amsterdam from the 
Dutch. Had the Iroquois not been the deadly 
enemies of the French, Louis XIV. would almost 
certainly have taken New York from the English. 

The year 1609 was thus an eventful date in the 
history of the colonial world. It was so for yet 
other reasons. It was the year in which the star 
of empire for Spain finally disapj^eared below the 
horizon, when after forty years of war she was 
compelled virtually to acknowledge what had long 
been an accomplished fact, the independence of 
the Dutch Netherlands, and when, with suicidal 
superstition, she sought to appease the wrath of 
God by driving from her soil a million of her 
most intelligent and thrifty people, the Christian 
descendants of the Moors. 

The downfall of Spain left France, England, 
and the Netherlands in the foreground ; and now 
Holland stepped forward to occupy for a brief sea- 
son the commercial centre of the American coast, 


to which Henry Hudson had led her. His reports 
of the abundance of fur-bearino^ animals 

TheAmeri- • i i . • i i p i 

can question stimulated thc Commercial zeal of the 

in Holland. 

Dutch. But in spite of this, the proposal 
to occupy a portion of the American coast encoun- 
tered some vigorous opposition in Holland, and 
when she came forward it was by no means with 
a stride or a bound. The opposition to a settle- 
ment in America was closely connected with the 
peculiar relations of the Dutch to the Flemish 
Netherlands and to Spain. A few words of expla- 
nation as to the Dutch political situation wall not 
be superfluous. 

I have said that in 1609 Spain was compelled 
virtuall}^ to acknowledge the indei^endence of the 
Dutch. But the arrangement concluded that year 
was only provisional. There was to be a truce for 
twelve years, with many chances of a renewal of 

bloodshed at the end of that time. Now 

The Calvin- • i t-w i at i 

ist, oror- there was a i)arty in the Dutch Nether- 

ange party. -^^ ' 

lands that wished to have the war re- 
newed and kept up until independence should be 
achieved for the Flemish Netherlands also. There 
were in Holland more than 100,000 Flemish refu- 
gees who were of this way of thinking, and they 
were among the most esteemed citizens. They 
wanted to see every rood of Netherland soil freed 
from the Spaniard's polluting presence ; they 
wanted to see the docks of Antwerp once more 
merry wdtli bustle ; they wanted to go back to the 
homes of their childhood, in Bruges, in Lille, in 
Mechlin, in Valenciennes. They proposed to fight 
until these things should be accomplished. Among 


their leaders were most of the Calvinist clergy, 
and at their head was Prince Maurice of Orange, 
son of the idolized William the Silent, and him- 
self the most famous soldier of the age, — doubt- 
less the greatest general between the death of 
Alexander Farnese and the appearance of Gus- 
tavus Adolphus. 

Opposed to this war party were most of the 
municipal dignitaries of the Dutch Netherlands, 
and especially of Holland. In this province the 
principal civic offices had become hered- ^he Ar- 
itary in a few families. Thus an oligar- RepuWicTa 
chy came near controlling Holland, and p'^''*^' 
with it all the Dutch Netherlands, for in wealth 
and population Holland was at least equal to the 
other six provinces together. She contributed 
more than half the revenue and exercised a pro- 
portional influence over public policy. A large 
part of Holland's preponderance was due to the 
fact that within her territory were most of the 
large cities which received the 100,000 Flemish 
refugees, picked men for enterprise and wealth. 
The oligarchs did not wish to see these men return 
to the homes of their childhood ; they preferred 
to have them stay and add to the greatness of 
Amsterdam and Leyden, Gouda and Kotterdam. 
Accordingly they were opposed to the renewal of 
war with Spain ; they held it better to remain 
satisfied with what had been accomplished than 
to take new risks, or to incur certain damage with 
doubtful results. At the head of this peace party 
was the illustrious John of Olden Barneveld, and 
one of its greatest leaders was Hugo Grotius. 


Arminian theology seems to have suited the poli- 
tics of these men better than Calvinism. When- 
ever you met an Arminian in Holland you might 
safely assume that he belonged to the party of 
these friends of peace. It was often called the 
Arminian party ; but otherwise the Republican 
party, for one of its points was jealousy of the 
Orange princes, whom it accused of aiming at 
monarchy. On the other hand, the war party was 
called the Calvinist, or otherwise the Orange 
party. In numbers the Orange party was much 
the stronger, while its policy was broader and 
more national. But the Republican party, with a 
narrower and more sectional policy, was very 
strongly entrenched in the monopoly of municipal 
offices and in the interests of such cities as Am- 
sterdam. It is needless to add that both parties 
were truly patriotic, while each was prone to sus- 
pect the other of treason. In the year 1609 the 
Twelve Years' Truce marked the moment when 
the power and influence of the Republicans were 
at their height. 

Now these two parties differed in their views of 
colonization, of maritime commerce, and the best 
methods of conducting naval warfare. The most 
thorough-going and unreserved advocates of an 
aggressive policy on the ocean were to be found 
William among the Flemish exiles, among whom 
Usseiincx. ^^^^ ^£ ^|^g most eminent was William 
Usselincx, one of the great merchants who had 
come from Antwerp to Amsterdam. After the 
defeat of the Armada he was one of the first to 
urge upon the Dutch government the desirableness 


of imitating the policy of England in striking at 
the Spaniard's sources of revenue in the New 
World and in the East Indies. In his views of 
the importance of planting a Protestant colony in 
America that should be self-supporting, Usselincx 
may be compared with Gilbert and Raleigh. In 
1592 this far-seeing man formed a scheme for 
organizing a West India Company, but it was pre- 
mature and failed for want of support. Dutch 
enthusiasm on the subject of America was aroused 
but slowly. But the necessity for controlling the 
East Indies was quickly appreciated, since the 
trade with Portugal had created powerful Dutch 
interests in that direction. The India trade must 
not be allowed to languish, and here the The Dutch 
aggressive policy won its first victory, comp^fyf 
The astute Olden Barneveld realized the ^^*^^- 
situation, and saw that it would not do to let such 
a lucrative trade redound to the political credit of 
the Orange party ; he must get the control of this 
trade into the hands of his own followers; with 
this end in view he was foremost in creating the 
Dutch East India Company in 1602, and he con- 
trived that the Republicans should always have an 
overwhelming majority in the board of directors. 

This East India Company confined its opera- 
tions mainly to the regions formerly controlled 
by Portugal, and did not meddle with 
America. The fact that Usselincx and enceto 
the Orange party were eager to emulate 
Raleigh's policy in America was of itself enough 
to make the Republicans condemn such a policy* 
But besides this the Republicans, especially after 


the truce was concludecl, were unwilling to irritate 
Spain more than was absolutely necessary. They 
wished to see the truce followed by a permanent 
peace ; and while Spain was now biting her nails 
in unavailing rage, like Bunyan's giant in his cave, 
because of the new English settlement on James 
River, it was not deemed wise to goad her to mad- 
ness with a Dutch settlement on the same coast. 
So felt the Republican directors of the East India 
Company. They had sent out Hudson to find a 
northeast passage : in defiance of their instruc- 
tions, he had crossed the Atlantic ; and they did 
not now propose to take advantage of what he had 
thus done. So the East India Company shrugged 
its shoulders and let Manhattan Island severely 

Nevertheless it was impossible for the commer- 
cial mind tamely to let go such a chance for fine 
peltries as the reports of Hudson's voyage sug- 
gested. During the next four years sundry Am- 
sterdam merchants fitted up small ships for them- 
selves and found it very profitable to get skins of 
beaver and otter and mink in exchange for blue 
Dutch glass beads and strips of red cotton. By 

ESat 1613 four rude houses had been built 
1613. ujDon Manhattan Island, and Hendrick 

Christiansen was sailing to and fro, on all the wa- 
ters near at hand, drumming up Indian customers. 
Now came a warning, not from Spain but from 
England. In November, 1613, young Captain 
Argall, who had just broken up the Jesuit settle- 
ments at Port Royal, in Acadia, and at Mount 
Desert, and was on his way back to Virginia with 


more French prisoners than his ship coukl com- 
fortably carry, thought it worth his while to come 
in through the Narrows and see what was going 
on. He contented himself with scolding Chris- 
tiansen and making him haul down the Dutch flag 
and raise that of England. Not dismayed, how- 
ever, but perhaps rather stimulated by this rebuff, 
the Dutch merchants who were becoming interested 
in furs sought and obtained from the states of Hol- 
land and Friesland a monopoly of the trade during 
the time that might be required for six voyages. 
A curious document is this Ordinance of 


March 27, 1614 : you may look through ordinance 

. . . „ 11 . . oflG14. 

it m vain for any allusion to America 
or Manhattan Island or furs ; yet it grants most 
unmistakably the monopoly requested. THe object 
is attained by circumlocution ; instead of the un- 
pleasantly definite proper names we have common 
nouns of glittering generality. It is provided that 
the discoverers of " new Courses, Havens, Coun- 
tries, or Places . . . shall alone resort to the same 
or cause them to be frequented," and for anybody 
else who shall venture to poach upon this preserve 
there is a penalty of 50,000 ducats. In case of 
diplomatic complications there might be safety in 
this vagueness of utterance. But we can also see, 
on the part of the states of Holland and Friesland, 
a desire to encourage exploration and acquire a 
title through discovery followed by settlement. 

Just at this time a fresh attempt was made by 
Usselincx and his friends to get a charter for their 
projected West India Company, but the peace 
party was still too strong. Explorers, however, 


suddenly became active, stimulated by the Ordi- 
nance of 1614. Three good ships, commanded by 
Hendrick Christiansen, Cornelius Ma}^ and Adrian 
Block, set sail for Manhattan. Scarcely had they 
arrived when Block's ship, the Tiger, caught fire 
and was burned to the water's edge. Then the 
sturdy skipper built him a yacht 44^ feet in length 
by 11^ feet in breadth of beam, and named her 
the Eestless. With this little craft he 

Voyage of ,^ i . 

Adrian madc a voyao^e throng:!! waters as yet 

Block. . . 

unfamiliar to Europeans, though they 
may possibly have been visited by AUefonsce. 
Block passed through the East River, which he 
called " Hellegat," after a branch of the Scheld. 
The name seems to have pleased the English, for 
it has been retained to this day with its meaning 
narrowed down to the rocky and dangerous point 
where the waters of the East River merge in those 
of Long Island Sound. So far as the form of the 
Dutch name goes, it may mean " entrance to 
hell," but it may equally well mean " a clear pas- 
sageway." Block saw the Housatonic River, and 
ascended the Connecticut as far as the site of Hart- 
ford ; he explored Narragansett Bay quite thor- 
oughly, and rounding Cape Cod went on as far 
as the site of Salem. His name has remained 
upon Block Island, known to earlier navigators as 
Louise and as Claudia. 

While Block was thus passing through the 
Sound, the south side of Long Island was carefully 
Cornelius studicd by Cornelius May, who continued 
May. ]j-g Yoyr^ge soutliward till he reached and 

explored Delaware Bay. Of the two capes which 


sentinel that bay, one is named after this captain, 
Captain May, the other after Henlopen, a town in 
Friesland. Some time afterward Captain Hen- 
dricksen, in the Kestless, ascended the Delaware 
Kiver as far as the Schuylkill. 

The merchants in Amsterdam who were inter- 
ested in these explorations now obtained from the 
States General a monopoly of the trade along the 
coasts and rivers which their agents had thus 
explored. The grant was made to them under the 
style of " The United New Netherland Company." 
This is the first appearance of the name NewNeth- 
New Netherland, which always, by the ®^^*"^- 
way, occurs in the singular and never in the plural. 
The European Netherlands are plural because they 
are an aggregation of small states ; but there was 
only one New Netherland, and to speak of it in 
the plural, as many persons do, is to commit a 
solecism. The southern limit of New Netherland 
was the South River, as the Delaware was then 
commonly called. The northern limit was the 45th 
parallel, to avoid collision with the French on the 
St. Lawrence. The eastern limit, according to 
Dutch ideas, was Cape Cod, or as far east as Block 
and Christiansen had sailed ; but new-comers were 
soon to dispute this claim. The noble stream which 
Verrazano had called Grand River, which Gomez 
knew as River of St. Anthony, which appears on 
Mercator's map of 1569 as River of Norumbega, 
and which Henry Hudson called the River of the 
Mountains, now received more formal baptism as 
Prince Maurice's River ; but in course of time all 
these epithets succumbed to the name of Hudson 


himself. At the same time the Dutch very com- 
monly called it the North River, as we still do 
to-day, and practically New Netherland was the 
country between the North and South rivers. To 
the west it had no definite limits, but never ex- 
tended many miles from the west shore of the 

One of the first things done by the agents of 
the New Netherland Company was to visit the old 
Fort Nassau, foi'trcss whicli the Freucli had built in 
vafeo'f' ' 15^0. ji^st below the site of Albany. 
T;vvasentha. rpj^^y f^^^^^j ^^^ cuclosure iu the fomi of 

a square 58 feet on a side and surrounded by a 
moat 18 feet wide ; within were the remains of 
a strong house 36 feet by 26. These works, which 
were dilapidated and partly in ruins, the Dutch 
thoroughly repaired and furnished with a dozen 
cannon mounted on swivels and a garrison of a 
dozen men. They called the place Fort Nassau. 
Jacob Eelkens was left in command, a man whose 
name deserves to be remembered, since his per- 
sonal qualities were such as to win the esteem of 
the Mohawks ; among the influences that brought 
about the all-important Iroquois-Dutch alliance, 
his sagacity and tact must not be omitted. It was 
soon found necessary to change the site of Fort 
Nassau; floods and freshets made it difficult to 
keep it in good repair, and it was accordingly 
moved four miles down stream near " the groves of 
singing pine-trees, in the green and silent valley " 
of Tawasentha. 

Here on one of the hills that overlooked the 
vale of Tawasentha was held in 1618 a memorable 


conference between the commandant of Fort Nas- 
sau and the principal chiefs of the Five 

. , 1 r> 1 m- Treaty with 

Nations, omce the fio^ht at Ticonder- the Five 
oga, nine years beiore, these Indians had 
learned from their enemies on the St. Lawrence 
that thunder and lightning could be wielded by 
red men as well as by palefaces, provided they 
were supplied with the proper talismans. A sol- 
emn treaty was now made by which the Dutch 
agreed to supply the Iroquois with muskets and 
ammunition in exchange for peltries. This treaty 
was never violated or seriously infringed. The 
Five Nations were always more or less steadfast 
allies of the Dutch, and afterwards of the English, 
until after 1763 their policy came to be less clear 
and certain. 

By the charter of the New Netherland Company 
its monopoly lasted only three years, so that it was 
necessary to make large profits if one were to get 
riches in so short a time. In 1618 the Company 
tried to get an extension of the monopoly, but 
there was so much opposition to this on the part 
of other merchants that decisive action was de- 
layed, and the Company went on with its trade and 
prospered even without the monopoly. It soon 
became evident that there was more than trade 
enough for those who were engaged in it, and the 
New Netherland Company began to entertain more 
extensive schemes of colonization. But 

«,.,. Triumph of 

before anythmo; could come of this, their the orange 

. . party. 

enterprise was destined to be absorbed 

in a greater organization. The Orange party, 

friendly to the establishment of a West India 


Company, was getting the upper hand, and in 
May, 1619, its victory was celebrated by a shame- 
ful judicial murder, when John of Olden Bar- 
neveld, the foremost citizen of the Netherlands, 
after forty years of the noblest public service, was 
beheaded on an absurd charge of treason. It re- 
minds one curiously of the murder of Sir Walter 
Raleigh the year before, and it is a foul blot upon 
the career of Maurice of Orange, although morally 
less o^uilt attaches to him than to Kino- James. 
Wherever Olden Barneveld was concerned. Prince 
Maurice's intellectual vision was hopelessly dis- 
torted, and he slew him in much the same S23irit in 
which an opponent of Irish Home Rule a few 
years ago miglit have devoutly prayed for the sud- 
den death of Mr. Gladstone. The overthrow of 
the Republicans meant a strengthening of national 
unity in the loose Netherland confederation, it 
portended a renewal of war with Spain at the 
expiration of the truce, and it promised to afford 
Prince Maurice an opportunity of devoting his 
superb military talent to the task of setting free 
the Flemish Netherlands. The triumph of the 
war party meant that Usselincx and his friends 
would have their way and obtain a charter for the 
long-talked-of West India Company. 

Just at this time, in February, 1620, a petition 
was addressed to the stadholder. Prince Maurice, 
Petition of ^^y ^^^ directors of the New Netherland 
PiTgdms^to Company. They wished to found a sub- 
Ge^neraif^ stautial colony at Manhattan, and over- 
^^"^- tures had lately been made to them by 

Rev. John Robinson, an English preacher versed 


in the Dutch language and dwellmg in Leyden. 
The Pilgrims from Scrooby and Austerfield and 
other English refugees had now sojourned for 
twelve years in Holland, and some of them wished 
to o'o and make a settlement in America. Mr. 


Robinson thoug-ht he could answer for 400 fami- 
lies, some from Holland, some from England, to 
go at once to New Netherland. It is true, the 
Pilgrims had already obtained a patent from the 
London Company for Virginia, authorizing them 
to plant a colony wherever they liked in Virginia 
south of the 40th parallel. But the king refused 
to give them a charter guaranteeing religious lib- 
erty ; so they preferred to see, first, what could 
be done under Dutch auspices. In a Dutch col- 
ony they would have no fear of being molested for 
their opinions on theology or ecclesiastical polity. 
All that Pobinson asked was that the United 
States of the Netherlands should guarantee the 
protection of these colonists in case of military dis- 
turbance. The New Netherland Company caught 
eagerly at the proposal ; they promised to trans- 
port the Pilgrims to the North River free of 
charge and to furnish every family with cattle ; 
but as for the desired military protection, that 
was a question for government to decide. Hence 
the directors petitioned the Prince of Orange, and 
he referred the matter to the States General. 

But the States General now had larger aims in 
view than simply to found a small colony and send 
two or three warships to defend it. They were 
already at work upon the constitution of the West 
India Company, a gigantic commercial monojjoly 


whose gains were to be employed where occasion 
required in dealino^ out blows to Spain. 

The petition ^n „ ,. c -i^ • 

is rejected TliB founding" of a Pi'otestant state m 

by the . * 

States America was part of the scheme, but it 

General. ^ . '. 

w^as thought that the details of it had 
better be left to the West India Company. More- 
over, the Dutch statesmen were well aware that 
the English government regarded the North River 
and Manhattan Island as part of Virginia, and 
was likely to resent any attempts of theirs to found 
a state there. In view of the coming war with 
Spain it w^ould be prudent to avoid a quarrel 
with England. The States General might har- 
bour in their own country Englishmen wdiom 
King James regarded as half rebellious, but if it 
should come to planting a colony of such English- 
men on territory which King James called his 
own, and then undertaking to guarantee them 
against intrusion, such conduct would be likely to 
bring on a quarrel at once. The Dutch could not 
afford thus to hamper themselves, and in any case 
a war between the two great Protestant powers 
w^ould be a scandal ; so the States General rejected 
the petition, and the Pilgrims, instead of sailing 
for Manhattan, went on and organized their expe- 
dition under the aus2:)ices of the London Company. 
It was their intention to go to Delaware Bay. 
By accident Had they done so and landed on the Jer- 
flower^m- ^^y sliorc, they would have found them- 
Sa^^arr sclvcs in Ncw Ncthcrlaud as unwelcome 
x^^'cape''''"' guests. The Dutch on Manhattan, who 
Cod Bay. Height havc lovcd them as fellow-citizens, 
would feel differently toward them as neighbours 


under foreign jurisdiction. As it happened, the 
Mayflower, under stress of weather, ran some- 
what out of her course and carried the Pilgrims 
north of Cape Cod and out of the jurisdiction of 
the London Company. About fifty years after- 
ward, Nathaniel Morton, secretary of Plymouth 
Colony, said that he had heard a report that cer- 
tain Dutchmen had bribed the skipper of the 
Mayflower to take the Pilgrims out of their course, 
and this tale has been often repeated by writers of 
history. But a solitary hearsay rumour fifty years 
after the event cannot be accepted as testimony ; 
and in this case the tale is silly unless we assume 
that the bribers could read the future and foresee 
that the Pilgrims, instead of persisting in finding 
the London Company's territory, would choose 
the bolder alternative of squatting upon the Plym- 
outh Company's land and getting a title after- 

In the spring of 1621, while the Pilgrims were 
building their first permanent houses at Plymouth, 
the constitution of the West India Company was 
advancing toward completion at the Hague. The 
charter, which was issued in June, 1621, gave that 
Company exclusive jurisdiction over Dutch naviga- 
tion and trade on the barbarous coasts of America 
and Africa. No citizen of the Nether- 
lands could sail to any point between the westindia 
tropic of Cancer and the Cape of Good 
Hope, or between Newfoundland and the Strait of 
Magellan, except in the name or by the consent 
of the Company, under penalty of forfeiting ships 
and goods. The powers with which the West 


India Company was invested were well-nigh im- 
perial. It was authorized to appoint and remove 
all governors and other public officers within its 
territories, to administer justice, to build forts, 
make treaties with barbaric chiefs or princes, 
and resist invaders. Formal declaration of war 
could be made only after obtaining the consent of 
the States General, which were then bound to fur- 
nish the Company with a fleet of twenty warships, 
to be manned and supported at the Company's 
expense. Besides this, the Company must keep 
in commission a fleet of its own, also to consist 
of twenty warships. Supreme appointments, such 
as those of governors-general, needed to be con- 
firmed by the States General. The government 
of the Company was in the hands of five separate 
chambers or boards, representing different sections 
of the Netherlands ; but there was one executive 
board, sometimes known as the College of Nine- 
teen. Eight of these directors were from Amster- 
dam, four from Zealand, two from Dordrecht, two 
from North Holland, two from Friesland and Gro- 
ningen, and one was a director-at-large, a spokes- 
man for the States General. 

Upon the issue of this charter subscription books 
were opened, and it was announced that until New 
Year's Day, 1622, anybody who liked, whether a 
Dutchman or a foreigner, might become a stock- 
holder of the company. After that date no new 
members could come in. But in fact the subscrip- 
tion was kept open for two years, while the charter 
underwent some slight modifications and various 
matters of detail were arranged. On the 21st of 


June, 1623, the subscription was closed, and the 
career of the West India Company was begun. 

Meanwhile, if we go back three years to the 
spring of 1620, when the request of the Pilgrims 
to be guaranteed in making a settlement in New 
Netherland was under consideration, we find the 
attention of England drawn toward the movements 
which the Dutch were making. In the original 
charter of Virginia, issued in 1606, King English 
James asserted dominion over the Ameri- «i^""s- 
can coast from the 34th parallel, which cuts through 
the mouth of Cape Fear River, to the 45th, which 
now divides Vermont from Canada. All the coun- 
try between Cape Fear and Potomac rivers was 
open for the London Company to colonize ; all 
between the Bay of Fundy and Long Island 
Sound was open to the Plymouth Company ; all 
between Long Island and the Potomac was open 
to the competition of the two companies. From 
the English point of view the Dutch in New 
Netherland were poaching partly upon the Plym- 
outh Company's preserves, partly upon the neu- 
tral region. The energetic Sir Ferdinando Gorges, 
governor of Plymouth in Devonshire, and one of 
the most active members of the Plymouth Com- 
pany, had in 1614 sent Captain John 
Smith to explore the coasts assigned to England 
that company. While Block was sail- 
ing through Long Island Sound, Smith was scan- 
ning the shore from Penobscot Bay to Cape Cod. 
The result was an excellent map of that coast, and 
the name New England, by which it has ever since 
been known. The next year Smith started on a 


second expedition, but was captured by a French 
squadron and carried to France. In 1619 and 
1620, Gorges sent one of Smith's comrades, 
Thomas Dernier, to make further investigations. 
Dermer sailed over the same waters and 
voyages, bv thc sauic coasts formerly visited by 

1619-20. »/ ^ 

Block. In 1619 he passed from the 
Sound through East River and out at the Narrows 
without stopping at Manhattan, and apparently 
without seeing any Dutchmen. But in the spring 
of 1620 he visited Manhattan and found a multi- 
tude of traders all busy with furs. Dermer warned 
them that they would not be allowed to stay there, 
inasmuch as the country belonged to the English 
and would presently be taken possession of by the 
Plymouth Company. The Dutchmen replied that 
they did not understand it in that way, and had 
found no Englishmen there when they came ; so 
they hoped that they had not given offence. This 
answer was certainly quite to the point. It was 
Queen Elizabeth who had laid down the doctrine 
that in order to acquire a valid title to wild lands 
beyond sea, mere discovery followed by neglect is 
not enough ; discovery must be followed up by 
occupation. Now in the spring of 1620 the Eng- 
lish had occupied no part of the American coast 
except the peninsula between the York and James 
rivers. It would therefore be difficult to dispute 
the claim of the Dutch, that they took possession 
of New Netherland as an unoccupied territory to 
which they had as good a right as anybody else. 

But when Dermer carried to London the news 
of the multitude of fur traders at Manhattan, and 


of their reply to his friendly notice to quit, the 
king was gravely concerned. In the autumn of 
that year, 1620, while the Mayflower was 

T .11 <• -r»'i The Council 

on the ocean with her company ot ir'il- ofNewEng- 
grims, there was drawn up a charter 
which created an executive body known as the 
Council of New England, and in this charter New 
England was defined as including all the land be- 
tween the 40th and 48th parallels from the Atlantic 
Ocean to the Pacific. This bold document declared 
that King James was credibly informed that no 
other Christian people were as yet settled within 
these limits, wherefore he took possession of the 
territory within them and hereby warned off all 
intruders. Apparently the king's information was 
not of a trustworthy sort, for his definition of New 
England made it include not only New Netherland 
but New France. 

A year later, in the autumn of 1621, Sir Dudley 
Carleton, English ambassador at the Hague, was 
instructed to call the attention of the States Gen- 
eral to the fact that Dutchmen were trespassing 
upon English territory at Hudson's River. The 
matter was discussed for more than a year, and 
ended nowhere ; it does not appear that any an- 
swer was ever made to the English government. 
Meanwhile Dutch skippers traded with the In- 
dians not only at Manhattan, but on the Connect- 
icut River and the shores of Narragan- 
sett and Buzzard's bays ; and the West ment pro- 
India Company proceeded to organize a New Nether- 
government for New Netherland. The 
province was made equivalent for dignity to a 


coiintsliip, and its official seal was a shield bearing 
a beaver, surmounted by a count's coronet, and 
encircled by the motto, Slg ilium Movi Belgii^ or 
" Seal of New Belgium," a recourse to the old 
Latin usage in which the name Belgium did not 
exclude the Dutch provinces. The government 
was especially assigned to the Amsterdam cham- 
ber. The principal executive officer, or, as we 
should say, the governor, was styled Director 
General, and the first person chosen to fill this 
office, in 1623, was Cornelius Jacobsen May. 

In the spring of 1623 the good ship New Nether- 
land, with the first party of permanent colonists. 
Arrival of arrivcd at Manhattan, and came upon a 
Ne^thedaud7 Frcuch skippcr in the very act of plant- 
1G23. -j^g ^|-^g fleur-de-lis on the shore. A 

Dutch yacht, armed with two cannon, was at once 
detailed to wait upon him, and so he and his ship 
were politely escorted down the harbour and bowed 
out at the Narrows. Some people were put ashore 
at Manhattan, and the rest sailed in the New 
Netherland up to Fort Nassau, in the vale of Tawa- 

sentha. Once more the site of the fort 
on North was cliaugcd ; this time it was moved a 

few miles upstream, and built within the 
present limits of the city of Albany. Its name 
v/as changed to Fort Orange. In after years its 
exact site was for a long time occupied by the 
Fort Orange Hotel, which was burned in 1847. 
Eio^hteen families settled in the neighbourhood of 
the fort, and with them stayed May's lieutenant, 
Adrian Joris, of Tienpont. Such were the begin- 
nings of Albany. In the course of the next month 


another Fort Nassau was built on the east bank of 
the South River, opposite the land now 
covered by Philadelphia. Yet another on south ' 
party of Dutchmen visited the Connect- 
icut River, which they called the Fresh River of 
New Netherland, to contrast it with the 
salt Hudson. On the site of Hartford Hope, on 
they began building a fort which they 
called Good Hope, but it was some years before it 
was finished. 

Yet another party of the New Netherland's pas- 
sengers settled on the shore of Long Island at a 
deep bay where now is the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 
The name Wallabout Bay is one of those very 
common cases of unconscious tautology of which 
Berlcshlre County is a familiar instance. Walla- 
bout by itself means Walloon Bay. King Alfred 
would have called it Wealha Bight^ that Walloon 
is, Welshmen's or foreigner's bay. As ^^^' 
the English applied to their neighbours who did 
not speak Teutonic the name Welsli^ or strangers, 
so the Dutch called Walloons., or strangers, those 
inhabitants of the southern Netherlands who spoke 
French instead of Flemish. At the present day 
about one third of the population of Belgium are 
thus to be classed as Walloons.^ Spanish perse- 
cution drove many Walloons into Holland, and a 
party of them entertained the idea of migrating 
to Virginia, but failed to come to a satisfactory 
agreement with the Virginia Company. While 
their negotiation was pending the Dutch West 

1 Another less probable explanation of Wallabout has been 
suggested, as from Waal-bocht, or " curving bay." See Putnam, 
Origin of Breuckele?i, Half Moon Series, vol. ii. No. xi. 


India Company offered better terms and secured 
them as colonists. 

In this expedition the Dutch may be said to 
have taken possession of New Netherland. It was 
their intention, by occupying such positions as 
those on the upper Hudson, the Connecticut, and 
the Delaware, besides the central 2:>osition at Man- 
hattan, to proclaim themselves the owners of that 
wide territory. The fact that they had come to 
stay was signalized in 1625 by the arrival of two 
shiploads of cattle and horses, swine and sheep. 
And now their position was to be assured for the 
present by the political turn of events. The atti- 
tude of England furnished the chief source of 
anxiety. We have seen James I. in 1621 com- 
plaining to the States General. Now in January, 
1625, the ship Orange Tree from Amsterdam, on 

her way to New Netherland, stopped at 
land did uot Plymouth in Devonshire, whereupon Sir 

Ferdinando Gorges detained her there 
for several weeks, while the matter was discussed 
in the Privy Council. It was decided to let her 
go on her way, for war was impending between 
Spain and England, and it was deemed best not 
to irritate the Dutch. Six years of the Thirty 
Years' War had now elapsed, and the English 
people were warmly in sympathy with the Pro- 
testant princes of Germany. The daughter of 
James I. was wife of the Elector Palatine, and now 
that Spanish troops had overrun the Palatinate 
and were holding it, the king was ready to go 
to war in behalf of his son-in-law's party. James 
died in March ; in September Charles I. entered 


into an offensive and defensive alliance with tlie 
Dutch. It was agreed that both countries should 
maintain fleets for the purpose of destroying Span- 
ish commerce, and that tlie ports of each country 
should be open to the ships of the other. This 
was the famous treaty of Southampton. At the 
time when it was concluded there was much indig- 
nation in England over the so-called " massacre of 
Amboyna," to which allusion was made in my 
second chapter. The news of this affair was fresh 
in England, and the king declared that nothing in 
the treaty should prevent his demanding justice. 
The imj)lication was that the States General were 
ready to grant justice if the facts could be proved. 
Nothing was said about New Netherland, and it 
was evident that so long as the two countries 
were once more allied in a war against Spain, the 
English would refrain from molesting the Dutch 
colony. Indeed, New Netherland was now safe* 
for nearly forty years. The English were fighting 
against both Spain and France until 1630 ; then 
the quarrel between Charles I. and his Parliament 
so absorbed English energy that small heed was 
paid to America ; the chronic unrest of the Com- 
monwealth period had a similar effect ; and so New 
Netherland was safe until the days of Charles II. 

The death of James I. was followed within a 
few weeks by that of Maurice, Prince of Orange, 
who was succeeded in the stadholdership by his 
half brother, Frederick, youngest son of changes of 
William the Silent by Louise, daughter ^"^®^'^- 
of Coligny. Frederick was an excellent general, 
if not so great as Maurice, but as a statesman and 


a man he was far superior. In the province of 
New Netherland, too, there was a change of rulers. 
In 1624 Cornelius May gave place to William 
Verhulst, and in 1625 Verhulst was succeeded by 
Peter Minuit, a native of the duchy of Cleves. 
Early in May, 1626, Minuit arrived at Manhattan 
and took command of New Netherland. 

The first important act of Minuit's administra- 
tion was the purchase of the island of Manhattan 
from the natives. For the name Manhattan many 
explanations have been suggested, and among other 
things we have been told that the island was named 
after the tribe which inhabited it. But 

PurclifiSG of 

Manhattan tliis is getting thc cart before the horse. 
Minuit, These Indians were a branch of the great 

Lenni - Lenape confederacy, afterwards 
known as Delawares. Now in the Lenni-Lenape 
language Maiiatey means " island " and Manliat- 
taiiis are " those who dwell upon an island." ^ 
Evidently, therefore, the Manhattans were simply 
the island tribe of Delawares. Throughout the 
seventeenth the island was called by Europeans 
indifferently Manatey and Manhattan. When we 
say "Manhattan Island" it is a case of unconscious 
tautology, like those formerly cited. From these 
island Indians Minuit bought their whole island, 
containing about 22,000 acres, for the value of 60 
guilders in beads and ribbons. These 60 guilders 
are usually mentioned as equivalent to 24 gold 
dollars of the present day ; but the purchasing 
power of gold was then five times as great as now, 

^ Beauchamp, Indian 'Names in New Yorlc, p. 45 ; cf. Brinton, 
Lenape-English Dictionary^ s. v. Menatey. 


so that the price paid for Manhattan was really 
equivalent to about 120 dollars. That must have 
furnished enough ribbons and beads to give every 
brave and every squaw a chance. 

The next thing to be done was to build a suit- 
able fort. The site selected was where the row of 
steamboat offices now stands, on the south side of 
Bowling Green. At first it was simply a block- 
house encircled by red cedar palisades backed by 
earthworks. This was called Fort Am- ^ort Am- 
sterdam. East of it, along the shore of s*^^^^^^"- 
East River, stretched a line of one-story log-houses 
with bark roofs, some thirty or more in number, 
which gave shelter to the greater part of the popu- 
lation of 200 souls. Such was the beginning of 
Pearl Street, the oldest street in New York ; at 
that time its east side was the river bank ; since 
then three blocks have grown up to the east of it 
on made land. Communication with the little set- 
tlement at Wallabout was kept up from the site 
of Peck Slip. There Cornelius Dircksen owned a 
a farm or bouwerie, and used to ferry passengers 
across in a rowboat for a fare of three stivers in 
wampum, equivalent to three farthings of that 
time, or about six cents of to-day. Near the 
site of Canal Street the primeval forest resounded 
nightly with the growl of bears, the wailing of 
panthers, and the yelps of wolves, while serpents 
lurked in the dense underbrush. For the present 
the neighbouring Indians were not dangerous ; and 
Minuit, who was an eminently just, honourable, 
and sensible man, knew how to win their confidence 
and keep them well-disposed toward the settlers. 


For a moment, however, tlie party at Fort 
Orange were in danger of a breach with the Mo- 
hawks. The nearest neighbours of this formidable 

tribe were the Mohegans of the Housa- 
aiKiMobe- tonic vallcj. These people belonged to 

the great Algonquin family, and between 
them and the Mohawks burned the fires of hatred, 
diabolical and unquenchable. In 1626 a war party 
of Mohegans approached Fort Orange and be- 
sought the garrison to aid them in an attack upon 
the Mohawks. The commander, a rather dull per- 
son by the name of Krieckebeeck, allowed himself 
to be persuaded, and set out with them, taking 
along six of his men. After a few miles they were 
surprised and badly defeated by the Mohawks. 
Krieckebeeck was killed by an arrow, his Indians 
were put to flight with heavy slaughter, and the 
victors dined that day on roast Dutchman. Hav- 
ing thus won the field and discharged all blood- 
dues to their tutelar deities, the Mohawks showed 
remarkable forbearance. Their envoys came to 
Fort Orange and justified their conduct, while 
they blamed the Dutch for wantonly attacking 
them at the request of their enemies. The Mo- 
hawks, they truly said, had never offended the 
Dutch ; and if in this unfortunate affair a few 
Dutchmen had been slain by their arrows, it was 
the Dutchmen's fault and not theirs. After this 
plain speaking, which the new commander took in 
good part, the old treaty of alliance was renewed, 
and things went on harmoniously. The Dutch had 
learned a lesson. This meddling in intertribal 
quarrels was extremely dangerous, although some- 


times hard to avoid. It was similar meddling that 
> some years later made it necessary for the settlers 
of New England to crnsh the Narragansetts in 
self-defence. It was just such indiscretion that 
had led Champlain to attack the Mohawks, and 
make them the irreconcilable enemies of French- 
men. Probably the Dutch could not have ad- 
justed the matter so easily as they did if the 
Mohawks had not been keenly alive to the value 
of an alliance which supplied them with firearms. 
This prevailing need, and the hope of punishing 
the French, gave to the Dutch, and to the English 
after them, a very firm hold upon the Iroquois 

But while all was quiet on the upper Hudson, 
there was some uneasiness among the people at 
Fort Orange, and Minuit brought them all down to 
Manhattan, leaving only a garrison of sixteen men 
in the exposed position. The little colony at Fort 
Nassau, on the Delaware River, was also with- 
drawn, and the building of Fort Good Hope, on 
the Connecticut, was suspended. All the settlers 
were concentrated at Manhattan for greater secur- 
ity. But their ships found their way up the rivers 
and into all the bays and inlets where red men could 
be found with peltries to sell. Among other tribes 
with which they traded were the Wampanoags, on 
Buzzard's Bay, and thus they were brought into 
immediate contact with the Pilgrims of piscussion 
Plymouth. Dutch envoys visited Gov- Mhmltand 
ernor Bradford and were received most ^^''^^^«r<^- 
hospitably. Letters passed between Bradford and 
Minuit in which the courtesy and kindliness of ex- 


pression is evidently more than merely formal. It 
is clear that both writers highly value the alliance 
between their two nations against their common 
enemy, the Spaniards ; both are mindful of the 
friendly relations sustained for centuries between 
the Netherlands and Enoland ; both are anxious to 
maintain such friendship. Yet Bradford thinks it 
necessary to say that he doubts whether the Dutch 
have a right to plant colonies or trading stations 
within the limits of New England, which include 
everything above the 40th parallel. To this claim, 
which would have left nothing of New Netherland 
except the southern part of New Jersey, the Dutch 
governor replied that he derived his authority from 
the United States of the Netherlands, and was in 
duty bound to maintain it. He did not even feel 
that he had any right to yield to Bradford's sug- 
gestion that the Dutch might at least forbear to 
trade with the Narragansetts and Wam2)anoags — 
" which is, as it were, at our doors." But while 
he could not make concessions, Minuit's courtesy 
never failed him ; his letter was accompanied by 
two Holland cheeses and a runlet of sugar, to 
sweeten its flavour. This friendly controversy is 
one among many proofs that the English always 
disputed the title of the Dutch to New Netherland. 
In 1627 it was settled for the time by a proclama- 
tion of Charles I. declaring that in accordance 
with the treaty of Southampton all trade with 
England and her dependencies was free to the 
Dutch. This was equivalent to full permission to 
trade anywhere upon the American coast claimed 
by England, while it in no way recognized the 


Dutcli title to New Netherland. Matters rested 
for some years upon this basis. 

While these things were going on in America, 
the Dutch and English fleets were carrying every- 
thing before them on the ocean, while the power of 
Spain was declining year by year. That piece of 
insane wickedness, the expulsion of the Moriscos 
in 1609, had deprived her of recuperative power 
by spoilino- her principal industries, while 

■J r & i^ i^ ' Crushing de- 

the work of destruction, beofun lons^ asfo feats of the 

' ^ ^ . Spaniards. 

by Hawkins and Drake, was approaching 
completeness. For example, in a tremendous bat- 
tle ofe San Salvador, May 20, 1627, the Dutch 
admiral, Peter Heyn, knocked to pieces and sank 
twenty-six Spanish warships. On September 5 
the same skilful commander captured the whole 
Spanish silver fleet of nineteen vessels, with booty 
equivalent to thirty million dollars. We need not 
wonder that the West India Company declared 
large dividends. As for Spain, the extent of her 
humiliation may be inferred from the fact that in 
1629 the proposal for a renewal of the truce came 
from her and was rejected by the Dutch, who pre- 
ferred to keep up the war in which all the expense 
was borne by their old oppressors. No wonder 
that a war which brought limitless pelf and ample 
revenge, along with naval glory, should have been 
popular. It was supported by the zeal of the 
Calvinist clergy as well as by the cupidity of the 
mercantile classes. In 1630 England made a sep- 
arate peace with Spain. Charles I. was entering 
upon his experiment of governing without Parlia- 
ment, and wished to disencumber himself of all 


complications. But the naval war was kept up 
successfully eighteen years longer by the Nether- 
lands, until the general European settlement of 

While the Dutch flag was thus covered with 
glory on the high seas, the progress of the colony 
on Hudson's River was not quite what was desired. 
The nature of the weakness which began to become 
apparent about 1628, and the attempts that were 
made to mend matters, will claim our attention in 
the next chapter. 



Few facts in history are more conspicnoiis than 
the preeminence of England in the work of found- 
ing colonies. The fact is often mentioned, and 
not unfrequently the question is asked, 

T-« T 1 ^''® English 

Why have the Eno^lish been so much people as 

r ^ 1 1 TOO! colouizers. 

more successful than other people ? Such 
questions never can be answered by a single sen- 
tence or paragraph, for there are too many factors 
concerned. A full discussion of the subject would 
involve a great many considerations. Some points, 
however, are so obvious as to need but brief men- 
tion. Of course the case of a colony in which a 
small group of invaders hold sway over a large 
subject population, as in Spanish Peru or British 
India, is very different from the case in which 
masses of civilized men move into the wilderness 
and organize themselves into new states, as with 
the English in North America and in Australasia. 
Properly speaking, it is only the latter that are 
really colonies ; the former may be called depend- 
encies, but only in a loose sense colonies. With 
regard to dependencies, like Peru and India, the 
advantage possessed by people accustomed to a 
free government is manifest enough. The sway of 
the English over India, which is one of the most 


wonderful and romantic things in the world, may 
or may not be permanent ; but there can be no 
doubt that its moment of mortal peril, forty years 
ago, was brought on by carelessly shocking Hindu 
religious prejudices. Now in any Spanish de2)end- 
ency that has ever existed, such shocking of preju- 
dices would not have been an instance of momen- 
tary carelessness, but part of a deliberate policy. 
The English approached the people of India with 
missionary preachers, but in Mexico and Peru the 
Spanish Inquisition has been at work even since 
the nineteenth century came in. It is pretty clear 
that Spanish methods would never have won Hin- 
dustan or held it with increasing firmness for two 

As regards real colonies, planted in a wilder- 
ness, it is obvious that success cannot be achieved 
unless large numbers of people go thither to stay. 
The successful colony must first become 

Contrast rr\ t o i • 

between a homc. Iradiuo^ posts or nshnis: sta- 

Englishand ^^ ^ - i i 

French as tious or p^oid dif>'i>ino"s, whcrc iDcople 

colonizers. ^ ^ ^ 

flock together for temporary profit, ex- 
pecting to go back to their old homes, are not 
likely to become self-supporting colonies unless 
aided by other circumstances. Creating a state 
involves creating nev/ homes. Now we sometimes 
hear it said that France has had so little success 
as a colonizing nation because Frenchmen are 
such stay-at-home people, never quite happy out- 
side of their own beautiful country, whereas an 
Englishman can make himself at home anywhere. 
There is truth in this, but are we not in danger of 
inverting the relation between cause and effect? 


May it not be that Frenclimen are such stay-at- 
home people because they have not been successful 
colonizers, and thus have not cultivated the habit 
of moving to foreign lands ? In the seventeenth 
century no people took up the work of remote 
exploration with more zeal than Frenchmen, and 
for indomitable energy such leaders as Champlain 
and La Salle, Brebeuf and Frontenac have never 
been surpassed. These men could leave home 
behind and throw themselves into the work of car- 
rying civilization into the wilderness with as much 
self-devotion as any Englishman ever showed. 
The suggested explanation will not fit their case. 
Again, the close of the seventeenth century wit- 
nessed an emigration from France incomparably 
greater than any that has ever gone out from Eng- 
land. In the course of twenty-five years nearly 
a million Huguenots, or about seven per cent, of 
the whole population, left their native country. 
Compared with this colossal movement the migra- 
tion of 20,000 Puritans to New England seems a 
small affair. It is true, these Frenchmen were 
subjected to persecution more vexatious than any 
that England ever witnessed. But the event 
showed that in order to better their condition they 
could leave their country, just as the Puritans did. 
Suppose these Huguenots had poured in great 
masses into Canada and Louisiana, as many of 
them would have been glad to do, would not the 
history of North America have been seriously 
altered? Perhaps they might have taken New 
York and held the country west of the Allegha- 
nies and ousted the Hudson Bay Company. At 


all events, I doubt if we should have heard much 
about the natural incapacity of Frenchmen for 
foundino' colonies. 

Now the reason why the Huguenots did not 
come over to New France was simjily that they 
were not allowed to do so. Although Louis XIV. 
was sorely vexed and alarmed at the slowness of 
wiiythe increase in the population of Canada, he 
?id^iio"go\o would not allow a heretic to be received 
New France. ^^^^^^ Qu any tcruis. The Hugucnots, 
therefore, were obliged to lose their nationality 
and their speech, as the Pilgrims would have done 
if they had stayed in Holland. They became ab- 
sorbed in the populations of northern Germany, 
Holland, England, and the English colonies. 
Here, then, we come back to the advantage pos- 
sessed by people with a free government. As 
between a Spanish colony, with its Inquisition and 
its arbitrary taxes, and an English colony, with 
its freedom of the press, its liabeas cor^ms^ and its 
popular assemblies, it is easy to see which is most 
likely to attract settlers. 

The capacity for self-government, the kind of 
political training which combines civil liberty with 
respect for law, which enables every town or vil- 
influenceof -^^8'^ ^^ govcm itsclf wliilc at the same 
luenrupon' ^ime uatioual unity is not impaired, is 
coioiuzatioii. Joubtless the most important j^rerequisitc 
for success in founding colonies. A village accus- 
tomed to manage its own affairs will continue to 
do so if transported into the wilderness, but this 
is far more difficult for a village which has always 
been governed by prefects sent from a distant 


capital. Mr. Parknian has abundantly shown the 
weakness which this lack of training in self-gov- 
ernment entailed upon New France. If we look 
at modern Germany, we see that its people easily 
overcome the disposition to stay at home. Thou- 
sands leave Germany every year, but they do not 
try to plant new colonies ; they find their way to 
the United States or to Australia. If we ask why 
England has been preeminent as a colonizer, we 
may call attention to the fact that nearly all the 
free constitutions in the world have been con- 
sciously copied either from England or from the 
United States during the nineteenth century. Be- 
tween these two facts the connection is far from 

In the Dutch colony on the Hudson a most lib- 
eral policy was pursued with regard to the admis- 
sion of immia;rants. New Netherland ^, 

^ There was 

never suffered from this source of weak- "^ seif-gov- 

ernment m 

ness which afflicted New France. No- New Nether- 

body was excluded for heresy. But as 
regards the transfer of self-government to Amer- 
ica, the Dutch were not wholly successful. In the 
course of this narrative we shall observe the diffi- 
culties which they encountered. At first, the 
government was simply that of the agent of a 
commercial company. Laws for the settlers were 
chiefly made in the Amsterdam Chamber of the 
West India Company. They were administered 
by Peter Minuit, the Director General, assisted by 
a council of five members appointed in Amsterdam. 
This council united executive with legislative and 
judicial powers. It could make local regulations, 


subject to approval or reversal at Amsterdam. It 
was a court for the trial of civil and criminal cases, 
and could inflict fine and imprisonment, but not 
the death penalty. Persons convicted of capital 
crimes must be sent to Holland. Two important 
officers were the Koopjiian^ who was secretary and 
the Company's bookkeeper; and the Sellout^ who 
discharged the duties of sheriff and collector of 
customs. This was a very simple government, 
suited for an infant community, but the people 
took no part in it. It was not government of the 
people, by the people, and for the people ; but it 
was government of the people, by the Director and 
Council, for the West India Company. The 300 
inhabitants of New Amsterdam, in 1628, lived 
compactly enough to hold town meetings, yet there 
was nothing of the sort. At that same time the 
Contrast ^^^ inhabitants of Plymouth made laws 
outil Tnd™ for themselves in a primary assembly and 
Virginia. elcctcd their governor; while the 4000 
inhabitants of Virginia, distributed in a dozen 
communities, had their elected house of representa- 
tives, without whose consent the governor appointed 
by the crown could not raise so much as a penny 
by taxation. So far as it goes, the contrast seems 
hardly in keeping with the hypothesis that our free 
institutions were derived not from England but 
from Holland. It is true that the English gov- 
ernment in Virginia began with an autocratic 
governor and council, agents of a commercial com- 
pany in London, and thus it was like the Dutch 
government in New Netherland ; but it took Vir- 
ginia only eleven years to outgrow such a situation 


and secure a representative assembly. We shall 
hereafter see how differently it fared with New 

The years 1628-30 mark the beginning of a 
new era in the colonization of North America. 
More than 1000 Englishmen came to Massachu- 
setts Bay, and more kept coming until in a dozen 
years the population of New England was 26,000. 
Lord Baltimore was at the same time preparing to 
make a settlement in Maryland. But the colony 
at Manhattan grew very slowly. Traders 
came and went, but the number of new ofthe'Dutch 
homes did not come up to the Company's 
expectations. The country was well fitted for agri- 
culture, but farmers were too few. It required a 
very strong inducement to draw the Dutch farmer 
away from Holland. Since the Spaniards had 
been expelled, there was no' country pleasanter to 
abide in. Complete security for person and pro- 
perty, full toleration of differences in religion, with 
general thrift and comfort, were things too good to 
run away from. Had there been more poverty and 
discontent in the mother country. New Amsterdam 
would doubtless have grown more rapidly, and 
farmsteads would have sprung up on the banks of 
its noble river. 

To encourage agriculture and to create perma- 
nent homes, the West India Company in 1629 
issued its famous charter of " Privileges r^^ye 
and Exemptions." This charter declared P^troons. 
that any member of the Company who should 
within the next four years bring to New Nether- 
land fifty grown-up persons and settle them in 


homes along the Hudson River should receive a 
liberal grant of land, to hold as "patroon" or lord 
of the manor. The estate was to be on the Hudson 
or some adjacent navigable river, and might have 
a frontage of sixteen miles if all on one shore, 
or of eight miles on both shores. As to the depth 
of these lots, they might run as far back into the 
country as circumstances should make feasible. 
The patroon was full proprietor of the estate, and 
could devise it by will. He had the exclusive 
right of hunting and fishing within the boundaries, 
but could of course grant to others a share in these 
privileges on such terms as suited him. The pa- 
troon was chief magistrate on his estate, and could 
hold manorial courts, from which, if the matter in 
disjiute involved more than the value of 50 guild- 
ers, an appeal could be taken to the Director and 
his council at New Amsterdam. In practice, the 
patroon s evaded this provision by exacting from 
their colonists at the outset a promise not to make 
any such appeal. The colonists were to be ex- 
empted from all public taxation for the term of 
ten years, but during that period they were not at 
liberty to leave one estate and become tenants of 
another or to change their abode from country to 
town. This was not serfdom, inasmuch as it was 
regulated by a purely voluntary contract, but it 
reminds one of serfdom enough to seem a curi- 
ous provision when we remember that the last 
vestiges of that institution had disappeared from 
the Netherlands three centuries before this charter 
was written. It shows how strongly the Company 
was bent upon obtaining a population of farmers. 


Restlessness must be discouraged. In return for 
the exemption from taxes, the settler must bind 
himself to stay in one place and develop its re- 
sources. Of capital with which to start he had no 
need, for the patroon bore the expense of clearing 
the land, building the farmhouses and barns, and 
providing the tools and cattle. In return for these 
extensive outlays, the patroon received a fixed rent, 
usually payable in stock or produce, as in the old 
manors of Maryland. Besides this fixed rent, the 
patroon was entitled to a part of the increase of 
cattle and a part of the crop. He could also buy 
all the remainder, or as much as the farmer could 
spare ; in other words, the farmer must not sell 
any stock or produce to other parties without first 
offering to sell it to the patroon. Furthermore, 
the farmer must grind all his grain at the pa- 
troon's mill, and he could hunt and fish only with 
a license from the patroon. If a farmer died 
intestate the patroon was his legal heir.^ 

As for trade, the patroon s had full liberty to 
buy whatever goods they wanted (except furs) in 
New Netherland or in the French and English col- 
onies. But before such goods could be sent to 
Europe they must stop at New Amsterdam and 
pay an export duty of five per cent, to Limitations 
the Company. The fur trade was ex- X minu! 
pressly reserved from this permission. ^^^*^^'^®^- 
Nobody but the Company, through its appointed 
agents or factors, could deal in furs. As for the 
weaving of any kind of cloth, whether woollen or 
linen or cotton, that was absolutely prohibited ; 
1 J. H. U. Studies, iv. 16. 


tlie market for the products of the looms in Hol- 
hiiid must not be curtailed. The use of slaves in 
tilling the soil or in household service was sanc- 
tioned, and the Company somewhat vaguely pro- 
mised to supply the colonists " with as many blacks 
as they conveniently could," but not " for a longer 
time than they should think proper." No land 
within New Netherland could be appropriated for 
settlement without paying the Indian possessors 
such a price as they would deem satisfactory. We 
sometimes hear this scrupulousness in paying the 
Indians cited as peculiar to the Dutch and Quaker 
colonies, but there could not be a greater mistake. 
It was the general custom of the English, Not a 
rood of ground was taken by the settlers of New 
England without paying for it, except in the single 
instance where the Pequots rashly began a war and 
were exterminated. Between the moral attitude 
of the Dutch and English in such matters there 
was really no difference. 

Finally, having thus carefull}^ prescribed the re- 
lations of patroons and their tenants to each other 
and to the Company, the charter promised that 
Fort Amsterdam should speedily be strengthened 
and the settlers defended against all invaders. It 
was further recommended that prompt provision 
should be made for the support of a parson and a 
schoolmaster, "that thus the service of God and 
zeal for religion may not grow cool and be neg- 
lected among them." Such a recommendation 
was most certainly called for. Twenty years had 
elapsed since Henry Hudson sailed up the river, 
fifteen since settlements began at Manhattan, six 


since the West India Company had taken posses- 
sion, and still in a population of 300 souls there 
was neither a minister nor a schoolmaster. Nothing 
could show more forcibly how little the thought 
of making permanent homes had entered into the 
miwds of the traders who had come hither for furs. 

This famous charter of 1629 was clearly the out- 
come of careful study, but it fell far short of pro- 
ducing the eft'ect that was intended. The Feudal fea- 
feudal system had never acquired more charteTof'*^ 
than a slight hold upon Holland, yet this ^^'^'^' 
charter, drawn up by Dutchmen, introduced some 
characteristic features of the feudal system into 
the New World. Its provisions were not oj^pres- 
sive, like those which tormented the peasantry in 
France, but they certainly did not hold out strong 
inducements to the prosperous farmer in Hol- 
land to cross the ocean and begin life anew on 
the banks of an American river. His position as 
tenant of a patroon was to be less free and less dig- 
nified than his position before leaving home. It 
seems rather strange that the makers of the char- 
ter failed to see this. 

With regard to the patroons the aim was more 
accurate. In a community of merchants there is 
always a fair chance of finding some who are willing 
to exchange their avocation for the lordship of great 
landed estates. In Amsterdam and other cities of 
Holland there were wealthy burghers to whom the 
change seemed like a rise in the social scale. No 
doubt there were some to whom the vague prospects 
of adventure were attractive. At first men showed 
more readiness to come as patroons than as tenants. 


The first manor that was granted nnder the 
charter Liy beyond Delaware Bay, west of Cape 
Henlopen, within the present state of Delaware. 
It was taken by Saninel Godyn and Samuel Blom- 
maert, two of the Company's board of directors, 
and next year they took a district sixteen miles 
square on the opposite shore, including Cape May. 
Then five other directors were taken into partner- 
ship to increase the capital, and Captain David 
Pieters De Vries for the sake of his ability as a 
man of business. Two ships were sent out in De- 
cember, 1G30, with colonists, tools, and 

De Vries i /^ t i 

and his cattle. One was captured by pirates ; 

colony of -r^i -r»«*»i 

Swaudaie, the otlicr rcachcd Delaware Bay m April, 
1G31, and landed its people — 32 in 
number — a few miles above Cape Henlopen. A 
house surrounded with a stockade was built, and 
the place was called Zwaanendal, that is, Swandale. 
De Vries followed with reinforcements, but before 
his arrival the Indians burned the house and mas- 
sacred all the colonists, so that he found nothing 
but charred timbers and bleaching skeletons. De 
Vries had the rare gift of knowing just how to 
deal with barbarians. He had not force enough 
with him to attack the Indians, and besides he 
preferred other methods. He persuaded them that 
it would be for their advantage to have his men as 
neighbours. But famine was a more pitiless foe 
than the red men. De Vries had been more intent 
upon catching whales than upon planting corn, but 
whales were scarce on that coast and bread gave 
out, so that it was necessary to return to Holland. 
The partners had already begun to quarrel, and on 


his return the partnership was dissolved, the land 
titles were sold back to the Company, and such 
was the somewhat ignominious end of Swandale, 
the first of the patroonships. 

The career of the next was different but not 
successful. In the summer of 1630, Michael 
Pauw, one of the directors, secured for himself 
Hoboken, with the reorion now covered by 

X A- 1111 c c^ Statenls- 

Jersey Oity, and the whole oi otaten land and 
Island, so called in honour of the Staaten^ 
or States General. To this noble manor Pauw 
gave his own name with a latinizing twist, making 
it Pavonia. His small colony maintained itself on 
the site of Jersey City for about seven years, but 
the neighbouring Indians were very troublesome, 
and the enterprise did not pay expenses. So 
Pauw sold out to the Company, but his name re- 
mains to-day in Pavonia Ferry. 

More prosperous fortunes waited upon Kilian 
Van Rensselaer, a jeweller or lapidary who was 
one of the members of the Amsterdam Chamber. 
By purchase from the Mohawks he secured the 
greater portion of the land now contained in Albany 
and Rensselaer counties, excepting Fort Orange 
itself, which remained the property of the Com- 
pany. Rensselaer's party of colonists, consisting 
mostly of farmers, were carefully selected Rensseiaer- 
and instructed, and very completely ^^^^' 
equipped. Industry throve at Rensselaerwyck, and 
the value of the property came to be enormous. 

In such wise a few great estates came to be 
planted on the Hudson River, while the attempts 
on the Delaware were unsuccessful and on the 


Connecticut none were as yet made. Very soon 
the patroons bes^an to incur the censure 

Disputes be- I * . 

tweentiie oi the Companv by enoaoincv on their 

Company . ^ '^ J ^ & & & 

and the owu Drivatc accouut in the fur trade. 

patroons. . „ 

They justified themselves in this by what 
woukl be called in modern phrase a " loose con- 
struction " of the charter. This led to fresh regu- 
lations on the part of the Company and to renewed 
evasions on the part of the patroons. In truth, 
the trade in furs was so lucrative that it was not 
in human nature to let it alone. The Company 
had some reason to feel that in creating the pa- 
troonships it had let loose an unruly elephant. 
Not only did their private Indian trade interfere 
with the monopoly expressly reserved to the Com- 
pany, but it tended to defeat the very object for 
which the patroon ships had been created, for it 
prevented the growth of a healthy interest in agri- 
culture. The Company charged the patroons with 
failure to keep their engagements ; but the patroons 
retorted in kind. Had not the charter promised 
to defend the settlers against all invaders and yet 
failed to prevent the destruction of Swandale by 
the Indians ? Amid such recriminations the dis- 
pute was referred to the States General, and one 
of the incidental results was the recall of the 
Director General, Peter Minuit, who was accused 
of showing too great partiality for the patroons. 
There were probably motives working below the 
Recall of surfacc to wliicli we have no adequate 
Minuit. clue. Minuit, who was an eminently 

just and honourable man, always felt that his 
treatment on this occasion was harsh and unfair. 


One of the last achievements of Director Mi- 
nuit's administration was the launching of the great 
ship New Netherland, built at Manhattan in 1631. 
She was a merchantman of 800 tons burthen, 
armed with 30 guns, with which she might stoutly 
defend herself against pirates or privateers. She 
was for some time famous as one of the largest 
ships afloat, and her building at Manhattan proves 
that at least some of the mechanic arts were well 
represented there. 

On hearing of his dismissal, Minuit left the 
government in the hands of the council, and sailed 
for the Old World in March, 1632, in the good 
ship Eendragt^ or '^ Union." A fierce gale in 
the English channel compelled the Eendragt to 
take refuge in Plymouth harbour, where Captain 
John Mason, member of the Council for New 
England, at once put her under arrest on the 
charo^e of illeo'ally tradino^ within Kins^ 
Charles s dominions m America. In- lish claim 


stantly there came a protest from the 
Dutch embassy in London, messages were sent to 
Amsterdam and the Hague, the king and his 
attorney - general were interviewed, and a very 
pretty dispute was begun, in the course of which 
the States General drew up an able statement of 
the Dutch claim to New Netherland, and chal- 
lenged the English government for an answer. 

The argument was a difficult one for England 
to refute, inasmuch as it was Queen Elizabeth who 
had announced the doctrine that mere discovery 
of a wild country is not enough to give a title to 
it ; discovery must be followed by occupation. 


Now while Engiand claimed the coast of North 

America on the strength of Cabot's dis- 

Eiizabeth's coverv in 1497, she did not effectively 

doctrine. _ . •! i i 

occupy any part or it until the settlement 
of Jamestown in 1607. The Dutch maintained 
that they discovered the North River in 1609, a 
claim which might have been successfully disputed 
by France, but not by England. They alleged, 
with truth, that Dutchmen had been present in 
that region, which they found unoccupied, ever 
since 1610 ; that they had kept up forts and gar- 
risons there since 1614 ; and that since 1623 their 
colony had been steadily growing. 

Against this strong argument Englishmen some- 
times urged in conversation, that Hudson's dis- 
covery of the North Eiver should be counted to 
the credit of England rather than of Holland, be- 
cause of his nationality and without regard to the 
service in which he was sailing. But this could 
not be seriously urged, because by the same logic 
it would follow that John Cabot, a native of 
Genoa, had discovered North America for the 
Republic of Genoa, and not for England. A more 
plausible argument hung upon the question as to 
what constituted occupation of territory. In 1606 
James I. had defined Virginia as extending from 
the 34th to the 45th parallel, and had granted it 
by charter to two ioint-stock companies. 

constitutes it sucli ail act 01 sovcrcignty as grant- 
occupation ? . ^ 

mg the land was to be reckoned as equiv- 
alent to taking possession of it, then the Dutch 
might be regarded as intruders. This theory was 
set forth by the English. They flatly denied the 


jurisdiction of the States General, or of the West 
India Company, over New Netherland ; as for in- 
dividual Dutchmen or families of Dutchmen, there 
was no objection to their settling there, onl}^ by 
so doing they abandoned their nationality and 
became subjects of Charles I. Such was the Eng- 
lish view of the case. 

King Charles, however, had so many embarrass- 
ing questions on hand that he was not disposed 
to press this one to an issue. So after a detention 
of nearly two months the Eendragt was allowed 
to proceed on her way, " saving any prejudice to 
his Majesty's rights." No attempt was made to 
meddle with the cargo of 5000 beaver skins which 
she was carrying to Amsterdam. The action of the 
English government was merely an emphatic pro- 
test, intended to justify a policy which might here- 
after be carried out should circumstances prove 

The Company's choice of a successor to Minuit 
was not a happy one. Wouter (or Walter) van 
Twiller was one of the clerks in the Company's 
warehouse at Amsterdam. He had mar- y^^ TwiUer, 
ried a niece of Kilian van Rensselaer, ^h-JitOT 
and one of the Rensselaers had married ^^"'^'''^^• 
his sister. To this family connection Twiller 
seems to have owed his appointment. His quali- 
fications were slender. He had little knowledge 
of anything beyond the routine which he had 
learned in the counting-room, and his character 
seemed often strangely irresolute. This peculiar- 
ity did not escape the notice of that veracious 
chronicler, Diedrich Knickerbocker, who indulges 


himself in a smile over it. " Witli all his reflec- 
tive habits, he never made up his mind on a sub- 
ject. ... To this has been attributed his surname 
of Twiller ; wliich is said to be a corruption of the 
original Twijfler, or, in plain English, Doiibterr 
The description of the personal appearance of this 
His portrait, ^^^^Itcr the Doubtcr is almost too well 
cfoJs KnTck- known to need citation : " He was ex- 
erbocker. ^ctlj five fcct six iuchcs lu height, and 
six feet five inches in circumference. His head 
was a perfect sphere, and of such stupendous di- 
mensions, that Dame Nature, with all her sex's 
ingenuity, would have been puzzled to construct 
a neck capable of supporting it ; wherefore she 
wisely declined the attempt, and settled it firmly 
on the top of his backbone, just between the 
shoulders. . . . His legs were short, but sturdy 
in proportion to the weight they had to sustain ; 
so that when erect he had not a little the appear- 
ance of a beer-barrel on skids. His face, that 
infallible index of the mind, presented a vast ex- 
panse, unf urrowed by any of those lines which dis- 
figure the human countenance with what is termed 
expression. . . . His habits were regular. He 
daily took his four stated meals, appropriating 
exactly an hour to each ; he smoked and doubted 
eight hours, and he slept the remaining twelve 
of the four-and-twenty. Such was the renowned 
Wouter van Twiller, — a true philosopher, for 
his mind was either elevated above, or tranquilly 
settled below, the cares and perplexities of this 

The worthy Knickerbocker goes on to inform 


us tliat it is " with infinite difficulty " that he has 
collected these personal details, which is his plea- 
sant way of confessing that they are drawn from 
the depths of his own imagination. The picture is 
suggested by certain incidents in Twiller's career, 
but there were some features of strength and sense 
in the man that are lost in this broad caricature. 

When the new Director arrived at Manhattan 
in April, 1633, in the warship Soutberg, or Salt 
Mountain, bringing with him a force of 104 sol- 
diers, he was accompanied by Dominie Everardus 
Bogardus, the first clergyman, and Adam Roe- 
landson, the first schoolmaster, of New Netherland. 
Van Twiller had been ashore but a few days when 
he received a visit from Captain De Vries, return- 
ing from the ruined colony at Swandale, and there 
occurred an incident which may have first sug- 
gested to Irving his grotesque description. At 
noontide, while De Vries and Van Twiller were 
sitting at dinner, a ship bearing on her foremast 
the red cross of St. George,^ came blithely up the 
bay, and presently dropped anchor before ^^ English 
Fort Amsterdam and sent a boat ashore. ^''*^^^^- 
In the boat came our old friend Jacob Eelkens, 
the same who made the treaty with the Iroquois 
chiefs in the vale o£ Tawasentha fifteen years ago. 
Eelkens had incurred the displeasure of the Com- 
pany in 1623, and had been dismissed from its 
service. He was now in the employ of Clobery & 
Co., merchants, of London,^ and had come in the 
ship William to buy furs on the shores of Henry 

1 Preble, History of the United States Flag, p. 170. 

2 O'Callaglian, History of New Netherland, i. 143. 


Hudson's river. That English sailor had discov- 
ered the country, and it belonged to King Charles. 
'' Don't talk to me about Henry Hudson's river," 
retorted Van Twiller, " it is the Eiver Mauritius ! " 
and he swore that no English ship would be per- 
mitted to go up ; so he hoisted the blue, white, 
and orange flag over the fort and fired a salute of 
three guns in honour of Prince Frederick. But 
Eelkens coolly went on board the William and 
fired a salute for King Charles. After this ex- 
change of defiances the English ship waited a 
few days, and then without further ado weighed 
anchor and stood upstream. At this saucy be- 
haviour Van Twiller was for a moment speechless 
with rage. The citizens of New Amsterdam were 
already gathering in groups about the fort ; Van 
Twiller sent the crier to summon everybody. Then 
he broached a mighty cask of lihenish wine, and 
A broadside geucrous bumpcrs were drunk to the con- 
of bumpers, f^gjo^ of tlic rcncgadc skipper and his 
English ship. De Vries was vexed at such friv- 
olity. " Why did you let him sail out of range? 
A shower of iron beans would have brought him 
to his senses. We did not put uj) with such things 
in the East Indies, I can tell you ; these English 
think they own the earth, but we taught them how 
to behave." Walter appears to have spent several 
days in doubting. Then he sent a pinnace and a 
caravel up the river with part of his troops. They 
found Eelkens near Fort Orange, collecting a rich 
cargo of beaver skins, all of which they confis- 
cated. The ship William was then escorted down 
to the Narrows and sent on her way with no cargo 


save ballast. This affair started up a fresli dis- 
cussion between the English and Dutch govern- 
ments, in which the old arguments were once more 
beaten threadbare. 

De Vries enjoys a high reputation for veracity, 
and his picture of the plethoric governor taking 
deep draughts of Dutch courage on the Bowling 
Green is surely quite comical. But when we re- 
member that the English and Dutch governments 
were anxious to avoid a quarrel, the situ- rpj^g ^j,^,g g^. 
ation loses much of its absurdity. Per- i^i'"^=^<^'<^"- 
haps if De Vries had been the responsible magis- 
trate, instead of a mere friendly adviser, he would 
have been less ready to fire upon the unwelcome 
vessel. And after all, when it came to deeds, the 
action of doubting Walter, though tardy, was quite 
to the point. 

However it mioht fare with the law and lo^ric of 
such cases, one fact was growing painfully evident. 
The English were coming over to America much 
faster than the Dutch. On Chesapeake Bay it 
was understood that Lord Baltimore's long pro- 
jected colony was just coming upon the scene. 
Preparations were accordingly made for renovating 
Fort Nassau, and Arendt Corssen, crossing the 
Delaware Kiver, bought of the Indians ^ d^j^^j, 
a tract of land on the Schuylkill, where S'thr"""'* 
a fort was afterwards erected, called ^^^''^'^•'*''®- 
Bevers reede^ or " Beaver Koad Fort." Thus we 
see the Dutch leaving a landmark upon Pennsyl- 
vania, as well as upon Delaware, New Jersey, 
New York, and Connecticut. 

In 1633 the last-named quarter was the one 


which excited most interest. The outlook in the 
Portentous clircction of Massachusetts Bay was truly 
growth of portentous. For some time after the com- 
Engiand. -^^g, ^£ p^^^^, Miuuit, thc little colonies 
at Manhattan and at Plymouth had kept about 
evenly balanced, each with about 300 inhabitants ; 
but now within five years Winthrop's new colony 
had o'rown from nothino- to 4000 souls, and was 
already rivalling Virginia. Englishmen were com- 
ing to Boston at the rate of 1000 a year and were 
beginning to push inland. Plainly no time was to 
be lost in securing the river which Adrian Block, 
its discoverer, had called the Fresh Elver of New 
Netherland, in contrast to the salt Hudson, but 
which was known to all the Algonquin tribes as 
Long River, or Connecticut. 

It will be remembered that in 1623, under 
Director May, the Dutch had begun to build Fort 
Good Hope, on the present site of Plartford, but 
had soon desisted. Their numbers were too small 
for the territory they wished to cover. But in 
1G28 Indian affairs drew their attention 

Moliegaiis in iv t i 

the Connect- castward. Tlic Mohe^ans oi the upper 

icut valley. . ^ ^\ 

Housatonic valley were driven from that 
region by the Mohawks ; in the central hill coun- 
try of Massachusetts their progress was blocked 
by the Nipmucks ; so they moved down into the 
lower Connecticut valley, among their own kins- 
men, whose chief sachem dwelt at Mattabeseck, 
on what is now known as Indian Hill, in the city 
of Middletown. The new - comers, under their 
sagamore, Sequeen, occupied the site of Wethers- 
field. Their coming led to complications with the 


Pequots of the Thames valley, the most powerful 
tribe in New England. After three defeats the 
Mohegans submitted to pay annual tribute to the 
Pequots, but at the same time they appealed to 
the Dutch for protection. Now the Dutch, as 
allies of the Mohawks, could hardly strike a blow 
in behalf of the Mohegans or furnish them with 
firearms, though they were otherwise ready to 
trade with them on most friendly terms. So in 
1631 the Mohegans sent an envoy to Boston to 
seek English aid, but none was granted. In the 
summer of 1632 Dutch agents bought of the Mo- 
hegans large tracts of land on both sides of the 
river, and at its mouth, at a point which they 
named Kievit's Hook, after the little bird which 
we call Pewit., they nailed to a large tree the arms 
of the States General. In the next sum- 

/->! 1 Completion 

mer Van Twnler sent Jacob van Curler, of Fort 
who built Fort Good Hope with yellow 
brick from Holland and armed it with two cannon. 
The fort was finished early in June, 1633. 

While Captain De Vries was carrying the news 
of these proceedings to Holland, there was some 
excitement along the shores between Cape Cod 
and Cape Ann. The Plymouth people talked of 
taking up arms, and Winthrop sent an envoy from 
Boston to New Amsterdam, by way of Long Is- 
land Sound, to notify Van Twiller that the Con- 
necticut River was within the dominions of the 
king of England. The envoy and his 
friends were treated with the greatest with New 
cordiality, and after five weeks returned 
to Boston with a polite note from Van Twiller to 


Winthrop, suggesting that the English should 
defer their "pretence or claim" to Connecticut 
until the States General and the kino- of Enirland 
should come to some agreement with regard to 
such matters. '"In this part of the world," said 
Van Twiller, " are divers heathen lands that are 
empty of inhabitants, so that of a little part or 
portion thereof, there needs not any question." 
lie therefore hoped that Christians might dwell 
there, like good neighbours, without bickering. 
He did not withdraw his garrison from Fort Good 
Hope, however ; and the government of Plymouth 
decided to interfere, while Massachusetts remained 
quiescent. The action of Plymouth had unfore- 
seen consequences. 

It seems that a small band of Indians, probably 
a sept of Mohegans, had been expelled by the 
Pequots from their home at the present site of 
Plymouth Windsor, a few miles above Fort Good 
connectkut Hopc. Thc Plymouth government bouglit 
i^i^er- i\^\^ land from the banished Indians and 

proposed to reinstate them. The frame of a block- 
house, all ready for raising, was packed on a barge, 
and in this craft Lieutenant William Plolmes, with 
a party of Plymouth men and their cinnamon- 
skinned comrades, on a bright September day 
sailed up the Connecticut River. As they passed 
Fort Good Hope, thc Dutch commander shouted 
to them to turn and go back, under penalty of a 
volley from the two cannon. Holmes rej^lied that 
he was under orders from the governor of Plym- 
outh, and should go on, volley or no volley. " So 
they passed along," says our chronicler, "and 


though the Dutch threatened them hard, yet they 
shot not." On reaching the site of Windsor they 
quickly put up their frame house and built a 
strong stockade around it. They were not long 
in hearing that their dealings with the banished 
Indians had given mortal offence to the Pequots. 
Yet the blow, when it came, did not fall upon these 
men of Plymouth, but upon another party of 
Englishmen ; and the whole story affords a good 
illustration of the difficulty of keeping clear from 
Indian complications. 

Early in the following January, as Captain 
Stone, a skipper from Virginia, was sailing up the 
Connecticut River with seven companions, on an 
errand to Fort Good Hope, he imprudently al- 
lowed a dozen Pequots to come on board his little 
vessel. At night, when Stone and his men, or 
most of them, were asleep, these Indians 


murdered them all. Shortly afterward with the 
they surprised and slew several of Se- 
queen's Indians at Wethersfield. Van Curler, the 
commander at Fort Good Hope, felt that it would 
not do to allow such things within his jurisdiction ; 
so, catching some Pequots who were known to 
have had a hand in these murders, he had them 
hanged. The wrath of the powerful tribe was thus 
turned against the Dutch, but they deemed it wise 
to get the assistance of white men. So they sent 
emissaries to Boston, offering to cede more land 
on the Connecticut, to surrender the surviving 
Indians concerned in the Stone massacre, and to 
pay a handsome tribute in wampum beside, in 
exchange for English protection. These overtures 


led to the intervention of the Boston government 
to keep peace between tlie Peqnots and Narragan- 
setts, but otherwise nothing came of them, and the 
murderers of Stone were not surrendered. 

AYhile these things were going on, Van Twiller 
sent a party of 70 men, in December, 1C34, to 
drive the Plymouth men from their blockliouse at 
Windsor, but on reconnoitring the situation and 
finding that the little garrison refused to budge, 
these humane and philosophic troopers returned to 
New Amsterdam, where doubtless a fresh cask was 
tapped for them, for such was the Doubter's way. 
The next year witnessed a further trial of his 
temper. Two English noblemen, Lord Saye and 
Lord Brooke, had in 1G32 obtained a grant of the 
Connecticut Kiver and lands adjacent. Now in 
November, 1635, the younger John Winthrop, act- 
ing under their orders, brought a party to Kievit's 
Hook, the name of which he changed to Point 
Point Saye- Sayc - Brookc, after his two patrons. 
Brooke. Thcsc Englishmen tore down the arms 
of the States General from the tree to which the 
Dutchmen had fastened them, and nailed up in 
their place a board with a ludicrous and insulting 
picture. A Dutch sloop, sent from Manhattan to 
interrupt the proceedings, arrived upon the scene ; 
but finding a couple of English cannon in j^osses- 
sion, she quietly turned and retired up the Sound. 
Then Winthrop built a fort at Saybrook, by the 
hands of Lyon Gardiner, an accomplished engi- 
neer, who had formerly served in Holland under 
the Prince of Orange. The narratives of the time 
abound in such instances, which show the closeness 


and frequency of the intercourse between the two 
nations. Gardiner remained in command of Fort 
Saybrook, which practically cut off Fort Good 
Hope and isolated it from New Amsterdam, for 
overland communication through the primeval for- 
est was full of difficulty and danger. 

But now this forlorn hope of eastern New Neth- 
erland was about to be not merely isolated, but 
in a measure overwhelmed in a new tide 
of English migration. The majority of ingofcon- 
the people in Cambridge, Watertown, and 
Dorchester disapproved of some theocratic features 
in the government of Massachusetts, and in par- 
ticular of the restriction of the suffrage to church 
members. In 1636, under their great leader, 
Thomas Hooker, the Cambridge congregation came 
in a body through the wilderness to the fields 
which Fort Good Hope vainly aspired to com- 
mand, and began building Hartford. So wholesale 
was the move that only eleven families were left 
in Cambridge, which, but for a new arrival from 
England, would have presented the appearance of 
a deserted village. In similar wise, the Dorchester 
congregation came to Windsor and quite swallowed 
up the little Plymouth settlement ; and the Water- 
town congregation came to Wethersfield. The 
English population of 800 souls, thus suddenly 
brought into Connecticut, far outnumbered all the 
Dutch in New Netherland. Against such odds 
there was small hope of success, but the Dutch 
remained for some years unmolested at their Hart- 
ford fortress, for the English could well afford to 
disregard them. 


The ferocious Indian war that followed this 
migration hardly belongs to the history of New 
ThePequot Netliei'land, except for an incident which 
^^^- reflects great honour upon the Dutch gov- 

ernor and has been too little noticed. We may 
briefly recall to mind how certain Narragansetts 
murdered an English trader at Block Island, where- 
upon John Endicott came with three vessels and 
slew Indians and burned wigwams at Block Island, 
and then, coming over to the mainland, perempto- 
rily demanded of the Pequots that they surrender 
to justice the Stone nnirderers, and getting only an 
evasive answer went on to shed Pequot blood and 
set fire to Pequot wigwams. How this grim Puri- 
tan thus came near uniting against the English the 
two most powerful tribes of New England, each 
numbering more than 1000 warriors ; how the diplo- 
macy of Roger Williams averted this serious danger 
and won over the Narragansetts ; how the Pequots 
butchered English settlers until human nature 
could no longer bear it, and one terrific blow, such 
as Cromwell might have struck, removed that tribe 
from the face of the earth ; — all tliis is a familiar 
story. But what Van Twiller did is seldom men- 
vanTwii- tioucd. lu the spring of 1G37, shortly 
before the final catastrophe, a band of 
Pequots rushed into Wethersfield, killed 
nine men, and carried two young women into cap- 
tivity. On hearing the news. Van Twiller, without 
wasting a moment in doubting, sent a sloop to the 
Thames, with orders " to redeem the two English 
maids by what means soever," even though it 
should involve war with the Pequots. The sloop 

ler's chival- 
rous inter- 


was stopped by the English at Fort Saybrook, but 
was allowed to go on when her captain made a 
written statement of his friendly purpose. On 
arriving in the Thames River, a large ransom was 
offered and rejected. Then the Dutch skipper 
succeeded in capturing half a dozen Pequot war- 
riors for hostages ; with these he effected an ex- 
change, and with the two girls safe in his cabin 
went on his way rejoicing and delivered them to 
their mourning friends. 

Surely this rescue was a most neighbourly and 
Christian act on the part of Director Van Twiller. 
It lights up the commonplace figure of the puzzled 
Amsterdam clerk with a gleam of true chivalry ; 
and when one thinks of it one is inclined to for- 
give him for many shortcomings. Though he had 
more than once sent home to Holland for permis- 
sion to attack the English, though the latter indeed 
were dreading an assault from him in the midst of 
their troubles, yet when it came to leaving Chris- 
tian women in the power of the barbarians, all 
quarrels of Dutch and English were for the mo- 
ment set aside, and in the promptness with which 
he acted there was little to remind one of Walter 
the Doubter. 

With regard to his alleged pusillanimity in not 
attacking the English at Windsor and at Say- 
brook, as also in not firing upon the ship rphe reason 
William at Manhattan, there has been ^i^so'much 
much unjust criticism. The scenes are solluie'^'''^ 
so funny that they fail to get serious ^s^ing. 
attention. The spectacle of a band of armed men 
marching up to a fortress and demanding its sur- 


render, and then, when the demand is refused, 
marching" meekly away, reminds one irresistibly of 
Dogberry : — 

Dogh. You shall comprelieiul all vagrom men : you are 
to bid any man stand, in the Prince's name. 

2 Watch. How, if a will not stand ? 

Dogh. Why then, take no note of him, but let him go ; 
and presently call the rest of the Watch together, and thank 
God you are rid of a knave. 

It is scenes like this that liave aroused the hu- 
mour of Irving and the contempt of many writers 
who have not paused to consider the very peculiar 
situation in which Van T wilier was placed. He 
was expected to assert the Dutch territorial claims 
as loudly as possible, but if he were to fire upon an 
English ship or an English fort, he would certainly 
incur the censure of the States General for such 
belligerent conduct. He asked for permission to 
use his own discretion as to bringing on a fight, 
but he never received such permission, and thus 
was always confronted with a dilemma ; which was 
a state of thins^s well calculated to encourao^e the 
habit of doubting. The truth is that the Dutch 
and English people were quite friendly inclined to 
one another, and their governments were deter- 
mined not to quarrel ; sentiment and policy alike 
forbade it. At the same time their antagonism 
and rivalry in America was a geographical neces- 
sity, from which they could not escape^ Under 
such circumstances the only available resource was 
a game of bluff, and such g-ames are apt to have 
their ludicrous side. 

In makino: these remarks I am not at all con- 


cerned to defend Van Twiller, but only to do jus- 
tice. Even small facts in history are worth the 
effort required to see them in their true light, for 
the habit thus fostered is helpful when we come to 
deal with great facts. As for the Dutch governor, 
no literary legerdemain can ever make him a hero, 
or anything but a commonplace character, with 
some grave faults ; as we shall see in the next 
chapter when we shall have done with his career 
and can see how it fared with New Netherland 
under his successor. 



I HAVE sometimes wondered why we are inclined 
to associate something slightly comical with the 
names ''Dutch" and ''Dutchmen." That there is 
some such inclination is, I think, undeniable ; but 
the origin of it is not obvious. All Germans call 
themselves Dutch, while Dutchmen call themselves 
by a territorial designation, as Hollanders or 
Nederlanders ; but when we call a Ger- 

Comical no- -,^^ , -, . . , .-, 

tions about uiau a Dutclimau we do it with a smile. 

the Dutch. -p i • t i i i 

it seems to be implied, though ever so 
slightly, that there is something funny in being a 
Dutchman. We cannot ascribe this feeling to the 
effect left upon our minds by Irving's humorous 
pictures of old dignitaries and his charming legends 
of the Hudson, for the feeling is older than Irving 
and gave him his clue for the Knickerbocker 
chronicles. I think it must be referred to the 
seventeenth century, that period of keen rivalry 
and occasional warfare between the English and 
their Netherland cousins, when they were more in 
each other's minds than ever before or since. It 
is then that we begin to encounter such disparaging 
expressions as " Dutch comforters " for those who 
bid you thank God it 's no worse, " Dutch bar- 
gains " where the wits are clouded with beer, 


"Dutch courage" such as comes from ardent 
spirits, or " Dutch defence " for a premature and 
cowardly surrender. Shakespeare never uses any 
of these phrases, and I have not found them in any 
of the Elizabethan playwriters, but they were in 
common use by the time of Charles II. Some of 
them are very silly, coming from people who had 
lately found in Dutchmen the toughest antagonists 
they had ever encountered. Tliere is more savour 
of spleen than of wit in such phrases. 

But besides this we must bear in mind that 
neighbouring or closely related communities are 
apt to make generalizations about one another that 
are either ill-natured or patronizing, and in either 
case convey some implication of superiority. 
With communities that are widely differ- siiiy generai- 
ent there is less temptation to do this. ^^**^^"^- 
The existence of wide differences is taken for 
granted, and our own immeasurable superiority, 
on whichever side we may happen to be, goes with- 
out saying. When the differences are slight, 
self -flattery thrives by harping upon them, and 
sometimes leads to queer statements. For example, 
there is a kind of American humour to which Eng- 
lishmen do not always quickly respond, and forth- 
with we hear it said that Englishmen have no sense 
of humour, — a strange charge to bring against 
the countrymen of Dickens and Thackeray and 
Lewis Carroll I The Englishman sometimes brings 
the same charge against the countrymen of Scott 
and Burns ! Every one has heard the famous re- 
mark of Sydney Smith, but the delicious reply of 
the great Scottish humourist, John Wilson, is not 


so generally known. Smith had said, " You can- 
not get jokes into a Scotchman's head without a 
surgical operation." " Ay, to be sure," retorted 
Wilson, — '' English jokes ! " 

It was in the spirit here illustrated that ancient 
Athenian writers used to allude to their near 
neighbours, with such effect that the prevailing 
popular conception of Boeotians is that of a thick- 
witted people with small interest in art or litera- 
The Athe- turc. Yct f roui this people came Hesiod 
Slce^Srst and Pindar and Plutarch, with the 
Boeotians. paintcrs, Nicomachus and Aristeides, and 
the general, statesman, orator, and scholar, Epami- 
nondas, in whom the moral grandeur of a Wash- 
ington was united with the brilliant versatility 
of a Raleigh. In a learned monograph on the 
Boeotians, in which a modern Welsh scholar. Pro- 
fessor Rhys Roberts, shows how little there is to 
support the traditional view, there is a chapter on 
the Boeotians as the Dutchmen of Greece. The 
references there collected show that other Greeks 
regarded them as comfortable and easy-going peo- 
ple, fond of good dinners, and not averse to a 
social glass. The conception answers very closely 
to Irving's picture of the inhabitants of 

Irving's o j. 

Knicker- Ncw Ncthcrland. When his Knicker- 

bocker was first published, in 1809, many 

people of Dutch descent in New York and Albany 
read it with fierce indignation. In certain quar- 
ters there was an attempt to frown the youthful 
author out of society. Nine years afterward, Mr. 
Gulian Verplanck, in an address before the New 
York Historical Society, called it a " coarse carica- 


ture." Irving might have replied that it was meant 
for caricature and is not coarse. One sometimes 
wonders what there can be in the climate of North 
America that makes its inhabitants so morbidly 
sensitive to banter. But the kindliness of Irving's 
humour, the total absence of malice, ended by 
winning all hearts ; and the name of Knickerbocker 
has come to be regarded almost as a title of nobility 
by the children of those whom it once so sorely 

At the close of the preceding chapter we left 
Director Van Twiller in o-reat and o^rowino^ diffi- 
culties on his Connecticut frontier. In the oppo- 
site direction there was further cause for anxiety. 
Lord Baltimore's people began coming to Mary- 
land in 1634, and the next year a small party from 
Virginia came up the Delaware River and 

1 • r» -n* AT I'll Capture 

took possession oi r ort JNassau, which the of English 

T-kiiiiiiA TT intruders 

Dutch had abandoned. As soon as Van on the 

ifi'i 1 11 Delaware. 

Twiller heard of this, he despatched a 
warship thither, which captured all the English 
and brought them to New Amsterdam. The ques- 
tion what should be done with them called for all 
the Doubter's powers of meditation ; but Captain 
De Vries, who had stopped in the harbour on his 
way to Virginia, relieved his perplexity by carry- 
ing all the prisoners to Point Comfort. There 
they found a second English ship just starting for 
Fort Nassau, but the return of this first company, 
with its tale of discomfiture, put an end to the 

The history of Van Twiller's administration is 
in great part a monotonous record of such bicker- 


ings with the English. But this did not prevent 
very brisk commercial intercourse. Salt and 
tobacco were carried in Dutch vessels from Man- 
hattan to Boston and Salem, and horses and oxen 
of the finest breeds were brought over from Hol- 
land for use in New England. The voyage between 
Amsterdam and Boston usually took from five to 
six weeks. In the general increase of commercial 
activity which was due to the founding of so many 
English colonies, New Amsterdam had its share ; 
and its profits were enhanced by the ])re- 

Growth of , ^ 1 • 

New Am- rosfativc kuowu as " staple riiiht," accord- 
ing to which all passing vessels must 
either stop and unload their cargoes to be sold 
on the spot, or else pay a duty for the privilege of 
passing. Quite a number of yellow brick houses 
were built, as also a wooden church and parsonage, 
a few shops, three windmills, and a brewery. Two 
houses were also built at Pavonia, on the Jersey 
shore, and nine at Fort Orange. Agriculture 
made some progress at Manhattan, and it is worthy 
of note that the first successful crop was tobacco. 
Of the Virginians who were taken prisoners at 
Fort Nassau, two or three found New Amsterdam 
so pleasant that they stayed there and introduced 
the culture of tobacco. It was not long before 
tobacco grown near the site of the present City 
Hall was exported in considerable quantities to 
Holland, where it brought nearly as good prices as 
tobacco from Virginia. Large estates were bought 
by Van Twiller and his friends, in the expecta- 
tion of a rise of values. Among these was the 
little island in the bay, which the Indians called 


Pagganck, and the Dutch Nut Island, but which 
ever since Van Twiller's purchase has been known 
as Governor's Island. Other such estates were on 
Long Island, comprising the present town of Flat- 
lands. The Indian occupants of these 
lands were paid for them after the usual ler's lai.a 

. 1 • 1 • 1 purchases. 

fashion, but in order to get a valid title 
under the West India Company's regulations, it 
was necessary that such purchases should be for- 
mally approved in the Amsterdam Chamber. Van 
Twiller foolishly disregarded this rule, and thus 
laid himself open to imputations of dishonest deal- 
ing, imputations that were damaging, even if not 
sustained by adequate proofs. It was also observed 
that his farms prospered much better than those 
of the Company, and it was hinted that he took 
advantage of his position to secure for himself the 
best service that was to be had, without a proper 
regard for the interests of his employers. 

While he indulged in these irregularities. Van 
Twiller's arbitrary temper got him into many 
quarrels with merchants and skippers and magis- 
trates, and presently with Dominie Bogardus, who 
once called him a " child of Satan " and threat- 
ened to preach him such a sermon next Sunday as 
would make him shake in his shoes ! From such 
indications we may gather that the parson's gentle- 
ness was not precisely dove-like, and in fact he 
was said to be a sturdy guzzler, like the Director. 
According to De Vries the orgies at Manhattan 
were frequent and unseemly. In June, Bibulous 
1636, that excellent mariner, returning ^^sn^^^^. 
from Virginia, had his leaky ship hauled up and 


careened on the site of Maiden Lane for repairs. 
Van Twiller informed liim that Cornelius van 
Voorst had just arrived as superintendent of 
Pauw's estate of Pavonia. Van Voorst had 
brought with liim a few cases of prime claret, and 
so the Director, wdth De Vries and Bogardus, 
went over to pay their respects to him. The 
sequel suggests that the claret must have been fol- 
lowed by cognac or schnapps. The Director, the 
parson, and the superintendent got into a hot 
altercation over a murder lately committed in the 
neighbourhood ; but presently peace and good-will 
were restored. As the visitors were stepping 
dow^n to their boats. Van Voorst gave them a part- 
ing salute with an old swivel which stood in front 
of his house, but bungled it in such wise as to 
shower sparks on the roof, and in less than half 
an hour the building was reduced to ashes. A 
few weeks later, on a warm morning in August, as 
De Vries was about to weigh anchor for Holland, 
the constable of New Amsterdam gave him a fare- 
well banquet, under a large open tent where the 
assembled company could look down upon the blue 
water and catch the salt breeze blowing over the 
bay. Wine flowed freely, and the hilarity was 
growing somewhat boisterous, when suddenly the 
trumpeter, Anthony van Corlear, Ijlew a blast and 
made several persons jump. Thereupon the koop- 
man of stores and koopman of cargoes upbraided 
the trumpeter and called him by divers oj^probri- 
ous names, until that doughty musician assaulted 
them both and thrashed them soundly. The koop- 
men, with aching sides, ran home to get their 


swords, vowing with mighty oaths that they would 
carve and eat Van Corlear; but the pot-valiant 
threat was never fulfilled. 

Among the officers at New Amsterdam who dis- 
approved of the Director's methods and manners 
was the schout-financial, or treasurer, Lubbertus 
Van Dincklagen, one of the ablest men in the 
Company's service. His criticisms were so freely 
expressed that the angry Van Twiller HowVan 
dismissed him from office and sent him Jemov™^ 
back to Holland. On the Director's f^°-«ffi««- 
part this was a rash proceeding, for Van Dinck- 
lagen immediately drew up a formal complaint 
ac^ainst him and lodged it with the States General. 
It was a moment of bitter discontent and disap- 
proval of the course which things had taken in 
New Netherland. There was nothing there yet 
that could with confidence be called a permanent 
colony; there was only a considerable trading sta- 
tion, with a group of tiny settlements. Colonists 
would not come out in any number as tenants on 
the great manors, and the patroons, neglecting 
agriculture for the more lucrative fur trade, kept 
working at cross purposes with the Company. 
During the last five years the population of Man- 
hattan had slightly diminished, while the neigh- 
bourins: Eno^lish colonies to the east and to the 
south were rapidly expanding and threatening to 
overwhelm it. Something must be done to mend 
matters, and first of all the competency of the 
government must be ensured. The States General 
instructed the Company that they must either re- 
fute the charges against Van Twiller or recall 


him. This was tlirowiug the burden of proof upon 
the Company. They could not refute the charges, 
and accordingly Van Twiller was removed from 
office. He continued for some years to live in 
New Amsterdam, but played no important jmrt 
there. We have the record of his death in Hol- 
land, early in 1657, but nothing is known of the 
circumstances of his return. 

The person appointed to succeed Van Twiller as 

Director General was named William Kieft. He 

was appointed in September, 1637, and 

Arrival of . ^ _^ . ^ ^ . i» zr i 

William arrived at JNew Amsterdam m March, 

Kieft. ^ . , 

1638. He was a very different sort of 
person from his ^^I'edecessor, and the change was 
like that from King Log to King Stork. Kieft 
was a man of restless activity. The picture of 
him given by Knickerbocker is of course based 
upon fancy, but it gives a correct impression of 
his type of character ; "a brisk, wiry, waspish lit- 
tle old gentleman," with sharp features, " cheeks 
scorched into a dusky red by two fiery little gray 
eyes ; his nose turned up and the corners of his 
mouth turned down, pretty much like the muzzle 
of an irritable pug dog." This Kieft seems to 
have had a good education, and is said to have 
been fond of interlarding his talk with scraps from 
Greek and Latin authors. As a merchant he had 
once been bankrupt, and his enemies accused him 
of crooked conduct on at least one occasion, when, 
as it was said, he had been entrusted with money 
for redeeming certain Christian captives from 
Turkish bondage, and had secreted part of it for 
his own use and behoof. Either the Company did 


not believe these charges, or perhaps they were 
willing to accept his energy as covering up a mul- 
titude of sins. Unfortunately they did not take 
sufficient pains to inquire into his character for 
prudence and tact ; in these qualities he was 
wofully wanting. 

In coming to this new country Director Ivieft 
knew that he would be held responsible for the 
government of his province, and therefore he 
wished to have absolute control, so far as 


possible. Therefore, while he retained method of 

. . 1 1 • governing. 

the advisory council, he reduced it to 
two persons, — himself and one councillor. In 
this council of two the Director had two votes and 
the other man one, so that Kieft was practically 
an autocrat. The choice of a councillor, however, 
was a good one, — Jean de la Montague, a keen 
and forceful Huguenot physician. The only other 
officers of importance were the koopman, or 
commissary of the Company, and the schout, or 
treasurer and general executive officer. Kieft's 
ordinary method of governing was to issue procla- 
mations or edicts, and it was the business of the 
schout to see that they were duly enforced. On 
extraordinary occasions special councillors, usually 
some of the company's salaried servants, were 
added to the council, and Kieft followed their 
advice or not, just as he pleased. 

Our petty autocrat found a sad state of things 
in New Netherland. We have seen how it was 
complained of Van Twiller that he devoted mora 
thought to his own interests than to those of his 
employers, surely a grave offence in a governor. 


With the patroons, who were open to the same 
Illicit trade t'hai'ge, the offence was perhaps somewhat 
in peltries, iyloyq Venial ; but the bad example in- 
fected the whole community. Illicit traffic in pel- 
tries was universal. People visited the warehouses 
and bought for themselves the most valuable furs, 
until only the poorest ones were left to be shipped 
on account of the Company ; and by this means 
not only were its receipts diminished, but its repu- 
tation suff'ered in the European market, and in the 
keen competition with Russian traders the Dutch 
found themselves losing ground. 

Accordingly one of Kieft's first acts was to issue 

a proclamation forbidding the Company's servants 

trading in peltries, under penalty of forfeiting 

their wages and all such claims as they might have 

against the Comi^any. No person what- 

Kieft's ^ ^ i 1 (. 

prociama- evcr was to cugagc m trade oi any sort, 
within the limits of New Netherland, 
without a license. Any trader who could not 
show a license was to suffer confiscation of all his 
goods, and was liable to further punishment at the 
discretion of the Director. Communication be- 
tween people ashore and ships in the bay was most 
jealously guarded, and no sailor was allowed to 
stay on shore after sundown without express per- 
mission, under penalty of forfeiting two months' 
wages for the first offence and instant dismissal 
without any pay for the second offence. Life and 
property were so insecure that it had been found 
necessary to modify the provision that capital pun- 
ishment should not be inflicted in the colony. A 
gallows in Holland was too remote to inspire ter- 


ror in evil-doers, and accordingly murdei'ers were 
pnblicly executed at Manhattan. Kieft's earliest 
proclamations announced that no mercy would be 
shown to criminals. Penalties were fixed upon 
hard drinking. Any keeper of a tavern or ale- 
house who* sold liquor to tipsy customers or al- 
lowed brawls upon his premises was liable to a 
fine of 25 guilders and the loss of all his stock. 
No doubt, if proclamations could reform society, 
the waspish and wiry little governor would have 
had the millennium in full operation in New 
Netherland within a twelvemonth. 

But one of the lessons which history inculcates 
with strongest and most reiterated emphasis is 
this : that by ho conceivable ingenuity of legis- 
lation or vehemence of proclamation can you ever 
make a sound society out of unsound individuals. 
Now at the time of Kieft's arrival the small popu- 
lation, of New Netherland was unques- Qnj^ntyof 
tionably poor in quality. That it did NSSiand 
not represent the good people of Holland ,^,^St'T 
seems quite clear. In Holland, even in ^'™®* 
the humblest society, it was very unusual to find 
a person who could not read and write ; and so it 
had been for more than a century at the time of 
which we are treating. But in Manhattan it was 
only a small minority of the population that could 
read or write. ^ For the most part it was still a 
waterside population of sailors, wharf-keepers, and 
longshoremen, including a fair proportion of rough 
and shiftless characters. The thrifty and respec- 
table people of Holland had not y^t begun to come 
in any considerable numbers to the New World. 
1 O'Callao-han, i. 187. 


And now the patroons came forward with a pro- 
posal which, had it been adopted, would have made 
matters still worse. They laid before the States 
General their so-called ^' New Project," 
sal of the concernnig- which it is not worth our 

patroous. i -i i 

while here to notice more than one pro- 
vision. Since the inducements offered under the 
manorial system had not proved sufficient to draw 
free and thrifty yeomanry from Holland to Amer- 
ica, the patroons requested the States General to 
furnish them with white servile labour such as, 
England was then sendino- to Viroinia, — convicts 
and vagabonds, outcasts and paupers, to serve 
under indentures for a term of years and then to 
receive their freedom. 

Fortunately this request was not granted, but 
recourse was had to far more wholesome measures. 
In September, 1G38, after consultation with the 
States General, the West India Company issued 
a proclamation which marked the beginning of a 
new era. The previous monopolies, alike in trade 

and in agriculture, were renounced and 

Abolition a • ^ n^ c 

ofmonopo- abolislicd. Tlic fur trade and the ripht 

lies. . . *. 

to hold and cultivate land in free allodial 
proprietorship were thrown open to the whole 
world. The same privileges in New Netherland 
were extended to foreigners as to Dutchmen, while 
all alike were subject to a few moderate regula- 
tions. The only monopoly retained by the Com- 
pany was that of carrying the settlers with their 
merchandise and cattle, at a reasonable charge for 
the service rendered. At the same time the prohi- 
bition ui)on manufactures was removed. 


Besides this abandonment of monopoly, certain 
direct enconragements for immediate emigration 
were provided. A farmer who was willing to start 
at once for New Netherland was carried thither 
with his family without any charge ; on his arrival 
he was furnished, for a term of six years, with a 
farm of such size as he could profitably 
cultivate, together with a house and barn, ments to 

, emigration. 

tour horses, tour cows, sundry sheep and 
swine, and the needful tools ; for all of which he 
was to pay a yearly rent in money equivalent to 
about 1200 of the present day, besides 80 pounds 
of butter. At the end of the six years he was to 
restore the equivalent of the live stock originally 
furnished, retaining for himself all the increase. 
Provisions were also made for supplying clothes 
and other necessaries on credit, in certain cases, 
as well as loans of money. 

The effect of these measures was remarkable. 
Settlers of excellent quality began coming in con- 
siderable numbers, so that, for example, in the 
year 1639 the seven farms or bouweries on Man- 
hattan increased to more than thirty. Not only 
single families came, but large parties Beneficial 
conducted by men of substance. The ^'^^"^*^- 
first of these parties came with De Yries at Christ- 
mas, 1638, and began building houses on Staten 
Island. In the following June came Joachim 
Kuyter, of Darmstadt, and Cornelius Melyn, of 
Antwerp, whom we shall meet again in the course 
of our story. About the same time Antoine Jansen, 
a Huguenot, began the settlement at Gravesend. 
Englishmen came also. Some came from Virginia 


and engaged in planting tobacco, or in raising or- 
chards of peaches and cherries. Many also came 
from Massachusetts, where they were finding the 
rule of the theocracy oppressive. Englishmen, in- 
deed, came in such numbers tliat, in view of pos- 
sible complications with the English government, 
it was deemed wise to make sure of their being 
on the right side. An oath of allegiance to the 
States General, to the Prince of Orange, and to 
the Director of New Netherland was accordingly 
recpiired of them. This question of allegiance hav- 
ing once been disposed of, no distinction wdiatever 
was made in New Netherland between Dutchmen 
and foreigners, but the same rights and privileges 
were enjoyed by all. 

Even now, however, the rate of increase was far 
from keeping pace with that of New England. 
The pursuit and slaughter of the wretched remnant 
of Pequots had just revealed to English eyes the 
rich and beautiful shores between Saybrook and 
Fairfield, wdien there came another great wave of 
migration from the mother country. Under the 
English set- ^^^^ of Eatou and Davenport these peo- 
ilong iSand P^^ sailcd froui Boston to the place which 
Sound. ^Y\Q red men knew as Quinnij^iack, and 

which Adrian Block had baptized as Roodenberg, 
or Red Mount ; there they founded the town and 
colony of New Haven in 1G38. By June of the fol- 
lowing year there were fifty houses at Stratford ; 
Norwalk and Stamford had come into existence, 
and two houses marked the beginning of Green- 
wich, within thirty miles of New Amsterdam. 
This year 1639 witnessed that league of three 

Tlie republic 
of New 


river towns which began the organization of the 
state of Connecticut. Of these towns Hartford 
already had more than a hundred houses, with a 
spacious church. Fort Good Hope still existed on 
sufferance, though there were brawls between the 
garrison and the neighbouring farmers. 

It must be borne in mind that of the new settle- 
ments along the Sound, the towns of New Haven, 
Guilford, Branford, Milford, and Stamford, to- 
gether with Southold on the opposite shore of 
Lono' Island, were about this time united 
into the federal republic of New Haven, of New 
the most theocratic and aristocratic of the 
New England colonies ; while the intervening towns 
of Stratford, Fairfield, and Norwalk, whose settlers 
came chiefly through Hartford and Windsor, were 
joined to the comparatively liberal and democratic 
colony of Connecticut. The fort at Saybrook re- 
mained separate, and as for Greenwich, the Dutch 
laid hands upon it. Quite recently Jonas Bronck 
had reared an outpost for New Amsterdam in the 
region now known as Westchester County, where 
Bronx liiver still bears his name. Thoroughly 
alarmed at the solid and steady advance of the 
English settlements, Director Kieft lost no time 
in buying from the Indians the triangle between 
Norwalk and the site of Sing Sing. He then so 
far overawed the settlers of Greenwich as to make 
them acknowledge Dutch jurisdiction ; and thus 
the republic of New Haven and the countship of 
New Netherland actually touched one another. 

But the chief controversy was now concerned 
with Long Island. The Dutch already had settle- 


meiits at Wallabout and Gravesend, and on the 
site of Flatlands, and at Breuckelen, so 

Long Island. 

called after a pretty vdlage on the road 
between Amsterdam and Utrecht. Presently they 
acquired from the red men a title to all the terri- 
tory now comprised within the counties of Kings 
and Queens. Until the arrival of the New Haven 
people the greater part of the island remained un- 
disturbed in the hands of its aboriginal possessors ; 
but the Dutch had free access to its shores, and 
this was of great value to them. Those shores 
were a kind of primitive American mint. For 
ages untold the currency of the red men had been 
wampum, or strings of beads made from sea-shells. 
Wampum as Tlicre wcrc two sorts, the white beads 
cunency. m^dc froui a kind of periwinkle, and the 
black beads made from the clam. It had some of 
the features of a double standard, inasmuch as 
black wampum was worth about twice as much as 
white ; but as no legal tender act obliged anybody 
to take the poorer coin for more than its intrinsic 
value, no confusion resulted. It was good currency, 
for it had an intrinsic value that was well under- 
stood and remarkably steady so long as Indians 
continued to form an important portion of the 
trading world. For any material to be fit to serve 
as a currency three conditions are indispensable : 
1. It must be an object of desire for its own 
sake, apart from its use as currency. 2. It must 
be difficult to obtain. 3. Its value must not be 
subject to fluctuations. Wampum satisfied these 
conditions. It was used for a number of purposes, 
and in particular was highly prized for personal 


adornment. In order to find it, one must go to 
its native coasts and gather the shells and prepare 
them, and the areas in which these shells occurred 
were limited. Since wampum thus cost labour it 
could easily serve as a measure of other labour. 
The amount of effort involved in getting a beaver 
skin could readily be estimated in terms of the 
effort involved in getting a fathom of beads. The 
relations between wampum and beaver were sub- 
ject to but slight variation ; immemorial custom, 
the net result of ages of barbaric experience, had 
determined them. As for gold and silver, the red 
men cared much less for them than for the vener- 
ated medium of traffic and diplomacy, the reposi- 
tory of tribal records, the coveted decoration alike 
for men and women. Throughout the seventeenth 
century wampum played almost as important a 
part in the northern colonies as tobacco played in 
Virginia, and as a medium of exchange it was far 
better than tobacco. It has been well said that 
" wampum was the magnet which drew the beaver 
out of interior forests ; " ^ or in other words, it was 
for the white man a currency redeemable in those 
peltries which were wanted throughout the civil- 
ized world. 

Now the shores of Long Island abounded in the 
shells of which wampum is made, and the Indians 
upon those shores were the chief manufacturers of 
wampum on the whole Atlantic coast. Thewam- 
The Pequots in swarms of canoes used to l^^^^^i^' 
cross the Sound and make raids upon i^o"g inland. 
this convenient mint ; and when the dreaded Mo- 

^ Weeden, Economic History of New England^ i. 39. 


hawk came down the River of the Mountains, 
collecting tribute from all the Algonquin tribes, it 
is said that he would now and then prolong his 
journey and levy blackmail upon the primeval 
treasuries of Great South and Shinnecock bays. 
Here Indians were wont to throng, and one of the 
many earmarks of truth in Verrazano's narrative 
is his notice of the fact. 

Tlie presence of this treasure, at the very doors 
of the Dutch, had given them great advantages in 
trading with the Indians. They were the first to 
perceive the economic significance of these wam- 
pum shores, and it was now with great disgust 
that they witnessed the approach of the English. 
In 1635 the Earl of Stirling obtained a grant of 
Long Island, and soon afterward proceeded to dis- 
pose of portions of its territory. In 1639 Lyon 
Gardiner bought Gardiner's Island, and in the fol- 
lowing^ year a party from Lynn advanced 

The English o f^ T) • r\ r^ 

on Long as tar as Cow 13ay m i^ueens County. 
There they tore down the arms of the 
States General and carved a fool's head on the tree 
to which they had been hung. These invaders were 
presently driven away by Kieft's orders, and then 
retreated to the eastern part of the island, and on 
its south shore built Southampton. The founding 
of Southold, on the north shore, by the New Haven 
people, came at the same time. 

The policy of Director Kieft, however, was des- 
tined to do more to shake the hold of the Dutch 
upon Long Island than all these aggressive ad- 
vances of their rivals. The circumstances of New 
Amsterdam were such as to call for sagacity and 


tact on the part of the government in dealing with 
the Indians of the neighbourhood ; but Kief t had 
neither tact nor sagacity in such matters. In ex- 
plaining the case, it must be remembered that all 
the Indians upon the lower Hudson and on both 
sides of it, all the way from the Delaware River to 
the Connecticut and far beyond, belonged to the 
Algonquin family. Under various local TheAigon- 
names, — such as Raritans, Manhattans, '^''''^ *"''®^' 
Weckquaesgecks, Tappans, etc., — most of those 
with whom our story deals were either members 
or detached fragments of the widespread and ex- 
tremely loose Algonquin confederacy known as 
Delawares or Lenni-Lenape. All had suffered 
unspeakable humiliation at the hands of the terri- 
ble Iroquois, to whom they were now compelled to 
pay tribute. No enmity known to history was 
ever more deadly than that between Algonquin 
and Iroquois. Now the Dutch had from the first 
entered into a treaty of friendship with the Iroquois, 
and such a fact was of itself calculated to discredit 
them with their Algonquin neighbours. Neverthe- 
less the Dutch had hitherto contrived to keep on 
very pleasant terms with these also. Minuit and 
Van Twiller had treated them well, and the influ- 
ence of De Vries upon them was always excellent. 
But under Kieft the increase of farming popula- 
tion began to cause inconvenience to the red men ; 
they complained bitterly that stray cattle spoiled 
their unfenced fields of growing corn, and some- 
times they protected their crops by killing the 
cattle, which led to reprisals. 

But far more serious trouble came indirectly 


from supplying the Iroquois with fiieaiiiis. A 
rule of the West India Company, approved by 
the States General, forbade the selling of such 
weapons to any Indians whatever, under penalty 
of death. Now the government at Manhattan 
rigorously enforced this prohibition in the neigh- 
bourhood, but with regard to the distant Iroquois 
the enforcement was comparatively lax. When a 
Mohawk was eiad to give twenty beaver 
arms to the sldus for a muskct, he was pretty sure 

Iroquois. , -^ • i i 

to get it ; and as the Iroquois had great 
wealth of furs at their disposal, no other red men 
enjoyed such facilities for acquiring firearms. 
The effects of this were prodigious. Already the 
superior organization of the confederated Iroquois 
tribes had made them invincible ; now, armed with 
the white man's weapons, they became irresistible. 
In the next half century they reduced to a tribu- 
tary condition nearly all the northwestern tribes 
as far as the Mississippi River. 

Now when the Algonquins around Manhattan 
found that the Dutch would sell firearms to the 
Iroquois but not to themselves, they were not only 
offended but alarmed ; for how could such a pre- 
ference for their deadly enemies forbode anything 
but mischief? At this juncture the unhappy Kieft 
ventured upon what seemed to him a brilliant 
Kieft under- ^trokc of policy. Hc was spending a 
the Aig^'on^'' good deal of money in repairing Fort 
qums. Amsterdam and other works which he 

said were a protection to the Indians as well as 
to the white men ; therefore they must be made 
to pay their share for such protection, they must 


be taxed ! Accordingly lie sent liis collectors to 
the Tappans, demanding corn, furs, and wampum. 
The Indians were sarcastic ; surely, they said, the 
white sachem at Fort Amsterdam must be a mean 
fellow to ask them to give him their property for 
nothing. Protection, indeed ! his fort was no pro- 
tection to them. They had not asked him to build 
it, and were not going to help maintain it. 

While these things were going on new settle- 
ments were springing up around Manhattan. Cor- 
nelius Melyn and his people occupied portions of 
Staten Island, where the little colony of De Vries 
was flourishing. That able patroon also began a 
new colony, called Vriesendael, on laud which he 
had bought from the Indians at Tappan. In 1641 
another settlement was made at Hackensack. And 
now came an explosion. Some wretches in the 
Company's service, on their way to the Theft and 
South Kiver, landed on Staten Island "^"^*^^'^- 
and stole some pigs belonging to De Vries. The 
offence was charged upon the Raritans, and Kieft, 
without investigation, sent out a party of fifty men 
who slew several of those Indians and burned their 
crops. In revenge the Raritans swooped upon De 
Vries's plantation and destroyed it, and massacred 
his people. Then Kieft issued a proclamation 
offering a bounty of ten fathoms of wampum to 
every one who should bring in a Raritan's head. 

It was thus already a very pretty quarrel when 
a further complication arose. Fifteen years be- 
fore, while Minuit was building Fort Amsterdam, 
an Indian of the Weckquaesgeck tribe, at Yonkers, 
came down to Manhattan with furs to sell, and was 


foully waylaid and murdered by white men. His 
little nephew, who witnessed the deed, silently 
vowed revenge. On a summer day of 1641 this 
nephew, grown to manhood, stopped at the lonely 
Murder of house of ouc Claes Smit, a wheelwright, 
ciaes Smit. ^^^ ^^le East River, near the site of Forty- 
fifth Street. He wanted to buy a piece of coarse 
cloth known as duffels, and when the unsuspect- 
ing Dutchman turned to get it, the Indian seized 
an axe and beat his brains out. As soon as this 
was known, Kieft sent up to Yonkers and de- 
manded the murderer, but the Weckquaesgeck 
sachem refused to give him up. He had only 
been doing a sum in Indian arithmetic, just bal- 
ancing a little account ; why should he be given 
up ? 

And now there came up the situation which has 
so often recurred in the history of despotism. A 
war is expensive, and when the ruler would under- 
take it he must sometimes consult his people, no 
matter how disagreeable such a step may be. 
Kieft therefore reluctantly convened an assembly 
of heads of families, to consider the question of 
peace or war. '^ In case the Indians persist in 
refusing to surrender this murderer, is it not pro- 
The Twelve P^^' ^^ dcstroy tlicir whole village ? and 
^*^"' if so, when and how shall this best be 

done?" The assembly chose a board of Twelve 
Men, with De Yries for chairman, to consider 
these questions. The board, after deliberation, 
agreed that the surrender of the murderer must 
be insisted on, but they would not consent to a 
war at present because the necessary prepara- 


tions had not been made. To this decision Kieft, 
though chafing, felt it prudent to yield. In the 
following winter, as no reparation had been made 
for the murder, the Twelve Men promised to sup- 
port the Director in his war measures, in return 
for a redress of grievances. We have seen hov/ 
ingeniously Kieft had constructed his council, with 
only one member besides himself. When some- 
times for the sake of appearances he had thought 
fit to enlarge it, he had been wont to call to it 
not the most able and upright men of the colony, 
in whom the settlers would be sure to have confi- 
dence, but only the inferior agents of the Com- 
pany — " common folk" who were dependent upon 
him for their salaries, and were accordingly afraid 
to oppose his wishes. The Twelve Men now de- 
manded that the council should hereafter Reforms 
be composed of not less than five mem- p^^p^^®^- 
bers, of whom four should be chosen by a popular 
vote, and that the "common folk" of the Com- 
pany should no longer be admitted to seats in the 
council. In return for this and some other con- 
cessions of less importance, the Twelve Men gave 
their consent to an expedition against the Weck- 
quaesgecks. This reform would have gone far to- 
ward limiting the Director's absolutism in future, 
and in the emergency Kieft' s behaviour was that 
of the typical despot. He began by denying the 
competency of the Twelve Men to undertake to 
bind him by any such agreement ; next he pro- 
mised, though in a sulky and gingerly fashion, to 
grant the demands of this tiny parliament ; finally, 
he dissolved it and forgot all about his promise. 


He did not forget, however, to proclaim that no 
public meetings should be held in New Amsterdam 
without his express permission. 

The first expedition into Westchester County 
was a ridiculous fiasco ; it served to scare the In- 
dians into promising to give up Smiths murderer, 
but the promise was not kept. There was a mo- 
ment's respite, during which more outlying and 
exposed settlements were made, chiefly by English 
people who found Massachusetts an uncomfortable 
place for free thinkers. One was Kev. Francis 
English Doughty, who, while preaching at Cohas- 
settiers. ^^^^ ^^^ dragged from his pulpit and 
thrust out of doors for saying that " Abraham's 
children ought to have been baptized." Doughty 
brought a party of adherents with him, and re- 
ceived a tract of 13,000 acres on Long Island. 
Another of these heretics was John Throgmorton, 
who settled with 35 English families on the penin- 
sula now known as Throg's Neck, opposite Flush- 
ing. A third was the celebrated Anne Hutchinson, 
who came with her large family to Pelham Neck, 
the next peninsula east of Throg's Neck. So many 
Eno'lish had now come to New Netherland that it 
was found necessary to have an English secretary 
as one of the permanent colonial officials ; and so 
many coasting vessels stopped at Manhattan that 
a large stone tavern was built on Pearl Street, 
fronting on the East River. The next thing we 
need, said De Yries, is a respectable church, and 
he subscribed 100 guilders toward it. A few days 
afterward the daughter of Dominie Bogardus was 
married, and at the wedding breakfast, after wine 


had circulated pretty freely, Kieft passed around 
a paper and got it covered with such 
generous subscriptions that the morrow Bogardus 
dawned upon some repentant souls. The 
church was built of stone within the enclosure of 
Fort Amsterdam. 

While this church was building, on an evening 
of January, 1643, De Vries, with his musket 
shouldered, was walking from Yriesen- a murder at 
dael toward the new settlement at Hack- Hackensack. 
ensack, when he met a drunken Indian. Some 
people at Hackensack had plied him with brandy 
and then had stolen his coat ; he was going for his 
bow and arrows in order to square accounts by 
killing somebody. De Vries tried in vain to 
soothe him, and when he arrived at Hackensack 
he warned the people to be on their guard. But 
next day one of the settlers who was thatching the 
roof of a house was slain by an arrow shot by this 
revengeful Indian. Then the chiefs of the mur- 
derer's tribe were seized with fear. They durst 
not for their lives go near Kieft, but they hastened 
to De Vries at Vriesendael and sought his advice 
and aid. They were willing to pay a liberal were- 
gild, 200 fathoms of wampum, to the murdered 
man's widow, and thought that any reasonable 
person ought to be satisfied with this. De Vries 
went with them to Fort Amsterdam, but Kieft 
would hear of nothing but the surrender of the 
murderer. But the chiefs said he had fled up the 
river to the Haverstraws, and thereupon Kieft 
sent to Pacham, the wily chief of the Haverstraws, 
a peremptory demand for his surrender. 


February arrived, and Pacliam had not obeyed, 
when suddenly a force of 90 Mohawks, every one 
Arrival of ^^ them armed with a musket, came down 
tax-gather- ^^ gather tribute from the river tribes. 
^^^' These human tigers were not particular 

as to how many of their tributaries they might 
happen to kill. Thus they drove before them 
several hundred terror-stricken fugitives, who 
swarmed into Vriesendael and begged the patroon 
for aid against their tyrants. De Vries explained 
that the Dutch were bound by treaty with the Iro- 
quois and could not interfere between them and 
Algonquins, but he would give the refugees such 
shelter as he could. Hour by hour the stampede of 
river Indians increased till there were more than 
1000 encamped by the oyster banks at Pavonia, 
while another force crossed to Manhattan and oc- 
cupied the fields near Corlear's Hook, on the East 
River, not far from tlie site of Grand Street Ferry. 

Now the wise De Vries saw that the moment 
had come when a courteous and pacific interven- 
tion might call off the Mohawks without offending 
them, and also win tlie gratitude of the persecuted 
Algonquins. To such diplomacy he was doubtless 
equal. But the short-sighted and waspish Kieft 
saw nothing but the chance for striking a blow at 
the Algonquins who had put themselves within his 
reach without ever having given up the assassins 
of Smit and the roofer at Hackensack. His views 
were upheld by a hot-headed creature named Adri- 
ansen ; and in spite of the passionate protests of 
De Vries, of Dr. La Montague, and of Dominie 
Bogardus, the infatuated Director proceeded to 


strike his blow. It was a base and cruel affair. 
At midnight of February 25, Sergeant Massacres of 
Eodolf with a party of soldiers rushed ^"*^^"^^- 
into the sleeping encampment at Pavonia and 
massacred 80 Indians, while Adriansen in similar 
wise murdered 40 more at Corlear's Hook. In 
the morning the soldiers marched exultingly back 
to Fort Amsterdam, bringing many severed heads 
of their victims. Kieft called it a truly Roman 
achievement. It seemed as if madness lurked in 
the very air and infected those who breathed 
it. The Marechkawiecks, of Breuckelen, were a 
strong tribe and had never offended the Dutch, 
but in the general fury some settlers of Flatlands 
attacked a party of them without provocation, slew 
three or four warriors, and carried off two wagon- 
loads of their corn. 

The results of this insane conduct were appall- 
ing. Eleven Algonquin tribes at once took up the 
hatchet, and on every trail between the 

-r. • -n- 1 1 TT . General 

Karitan Kiver and the liousatonic was rising of 

iiTr>i 1 CI • Algonquins. 

repeated the direful spectacle of burning 
homesteads and mangled corpses. Even Vriesen- 
dael was attacked ; the cattle, crops, and outhouses 
were destroyed, and the settlers were besieged in 
the stout manor-house ; but at this stage some- 
thing happened worth noting. An Indian arriv- 
ing upon the scene spoke in praise of De Yries 
and expostulated with the besiegers, whereupon 
they all desisted and went away, declaring their 
regrets for the slaughtered cattle, and leaving even 
the brewery undisturbed, much as they craved its 
copper kettle to make arrow-heads. 


Popular indignation waxed strong against Kieft, 
and there was some talk of putting him on a ship 
and sending him back to Holland. His alarm 
revealed the meanness of his spirit, as he tried to 
throw the blame upon his advisers, and especially 
upon Adriansen. This man's farm had just been 
destroyed by the Indians, and his temper 
was ugly. Hearing what had been said, 
Adriansen seized pistol and cutlass and with half 
a dozen comrades rushed into the Director's room, 
called him a liar, and was just pulling trigger 
when Kieft' s servants grappled with him. One of 
his comrades fired at Kieft and missed, whereupon 
he was instantly shot and his head mounted on 
the public gallows. 

After some weeks of such anarchy and distress, 
the efforts of De Vries secured a peace, first with 
the Long Island tribes, and afterwards with the 
tribes along the North River. But tlie respite 
was of short duration. Pacham, the crafty chief 
of the Haverstraws, believed it possible to exter- 
minate the white men, and at his instigation the 
jjQ^,g war was renewed in August by attack- 

massacres. 'j-^g. ^ l^oat ou its way dowu froui Fort 
Orange with 400 beaver skins. In September a 
party of Weckquaesgecks destroyed Mrs. Hutch- 
inson's homestead and murdered that lady with all 
her household except a little eight-year-old grand- 
daughter, who was carried into captivity. Throg- 
morton's settlement was the next to be destroyed, 
and then Doughty's ; and so everything on Long 
Island was overwhelmed, save at Gravesend, where 
Lady Moody, an Anabaptist from Salem, with her 


forty brave colonists, repulsed the barbarians. 
Before the end of October nothins: was to be seen 
at Hackensack and Pavonia but smoking ruins, 
while on Manhattan itself, from the site of Canal 
Street up to Harlem River, no more than five or 
six bouweries remained. At this time Departure 
New Netherland lost its ablest citizen ; ^* ^^ ^'^''^• 
circumstances oblio:ed De Vries to return to Hoi- 
land. He left in gloom and bitterness, declaring 
that God would avenge upon the Director's own 
head the shedding of so much innocent blood. 

But while the province lost this excellent pa- 
troon, who ought for all these years to have been 
its Director instead of such men as Van Twiller and 
Kieft, she received compensation in the jqj^„ 
shape of an eminently skilful and accom- ^nderhiii. 
plished soldier. Captain John Underbill, who di- 
vided with John Mason the laurels of the Pequot 
War, had in his versatile capacity of swashbuckler, 
heretic, and gay Lothario, found Boston an un- 
comfortable home. After trying his fortune in 
the Piscataqua country, and then at Stamford, he 
came at this most critical moment and gave the 
tottering colony of New Netherland the benefit of 
his military skill and experience. Perhaps it 
would not be extravagant to call him the saviour 
of New Netherland. Things had reached a point 
where the civilized methods of De Yries were of 
no more avail. An annihilating blow was needed, 
and Underbill was the man for such work. His 
crowning exploit was almost an exact repetition of 
the storming of the Pequot village, except for the 
absence of the element of surprise. The Indians 


had a very strong palisaded village in the rugged 
mountain country north of Stamford, and there in 
March, 1644, more than 700 warriors were congre- 
gated. Underhill came from Manhattan, with 150 
Dutch soldiers, in three yachts, and landed at 
Greenwich, whence a long day's march took them 
to the mountain. There was a full moon, as on 
Destruction *^^^ Pcquot uight, and the white snow 
Algonquin Made it like day, when at midnight they 
stronghold. ;^,^^^ijed upon the stronghold. The In- 
dians were keeping a vigilant watch, but fared no 
better than the Pequots. Before daybreak all was 
over. The village was in ashes, eight Indians had 
escaped and seven hundred corpses lay reddening 
the snow, while the Dutch had lost but fifteen 

The immediate result of this appalling blow was 
the breaking up of the formidable league of tribes 
against the Dutch. By the middle of April the 
tribes of Long Island and Westchester 
sued for peace, and before the close of 
the summer every tomahawk was quiet. Thus 
ended a war which endangered the very existence 
of New Netherland, and was fraught with mani- 
fold consequences the consideration of which must 
be deferred to the next chapter. 


A soldier's paternal rule. 

The terrible Indian war oi 1641-45, which 
threatened to terminate the existence of New 
Netherland, was complicated with sundry political 
questions. We have seen how at the outset Di- 
rector Kieft was obliged to call a meeting of the 
people, and how this primary assembly elected a 
representative board of Twelve Men, to consider 
the Director's policy and proposals. We have 
seen how this board authorized the raising of 
money for war expenses, and was dissolved, after 
having wrung from the Director certain promises 
that were never kept. In the summer of 1643, 
after the renewal of hostilities by the Haverstraws, 
the desperate nature of the crisis compelled Kieft 
again to call a meeting of the people. This time 
a board of Eight Men was chosen. Five ^he Eight 
were Dutchmen, of whose names that of ^^^' 
Cornelius Melyn, the patroon of Staten Island, is 
best remembered; one was a German — Joachim 
Kuyter, from Darmstadt ; and two were English- 
men, one of whom, Isaac Allerton, was one of the 
Mayflower Pilgrims ; in 1638 he had removed to 
New Amsterdam, and was one of the most prosper- 
ous merchants in the town. The other English- 
man, Thomas Hall, was from Virginia. In the 


spring of 1644, soon after Underhill's wholesale 
slaughter of Indians near Stamford, this board of 
Eight Men was confronted with the problem of 
raising money under difficulties. The provincial 
treasury was emj^ty, all business was at a stand- 
still, and most of the farms were destroyed, so 
that voluntary contributions were not forthcoming. 
The stone church, begun in 1642, was not yet 
finished, for part of the money subscribed had to 
be used for war purposes. Nor could any help be 
had from the West India Company, for recent 
operations in Brazil had made it well-nigh bank- 
rupt. A bill of exchange, which Kieft had drawn 
upon the Amsterdam Chamber, actually came back 
protested for want of funds. Some money could 
be had from time to time by cruising in the West 
Indies and capturing Spanish ships, but this was 
too irregular to be relied on, and necessities were 
pressing. There was a strong stockade to be built 
across the island at the place where it afterwards 
gave its name to Wall Street. There were also 
soldiers to be hired and maintained. A company 
of 130, withdrawn from Brazil, had landed at 
Cura9oa, and were promptly sent by Peter Stuy- 
vesant, the governor of that island, to New Am- 
sterdam. These soldiers were quartered on the 
citizens of Manhattan ; it was understood that 
the cost of their board would be defrayed by the 
Company when its fortunes should be mended ; 
meanwhile it had neither suitable clothes for them 
nor money to pay their wages. 

Kieft therefore proclaimed that brewers should 
make an exact return of the quantity of beer they 


might brew, and should pay an excise of three 
guilders on every tun. In modern money j^^^^^,^ 
this would be equivalent to rather less ^^^'^^' 
than four fifths of a cent per gallon. Besides this 
an excise was imposed upon wines and spirits at the 
rate of four stivers or forty cents per quart ; and 
likewise upon every beaver skin one guilder, or 
two dollars. Such were war taxes in 1644.^ 

Now in issuing this proclamation Kieft acted in 
flat opposition to the Eight Men who had been 
chosen as his advisers. They argued that impos- 
ing taxes was an attribute of sovereignty which 
the West India Company had never dele- 

T • 1 x>w r« AT Protest of 

gated to its agent, the Director of New the Eight 
Netherland ; moreover, it was the business 
of the Company, not of the settlers, to hire and 
equip soldiers, since the Company had expressly 
guaranteed military protection to the colony ; be- 
sides, the settlers were ruined and could not pay 
taxes. If ready money must be had, why not clap 
a heavy tax upon sundry traders and speculators 
who somehow contrived always to amass wealth 
even while everybody else was on the road to the 
poorhouse. We can seem to see the wicked smile 
which puckered the Director's weazened face, as 
he exclaimed, " In this country I am my own 
master and may do as I please ; for I have my 
commission, not from the Company, but from the 
States General." 

A specimen of Keift's official courtesy lights up 

1 It will be remembered that the value of gold was then five 
times as great as now, so that in reading of a pound sterling in 
the days of Charles I. we must think not of $5 but of $25. 


the sober pages of the Dutch colonial documents. 
His arbitrary proclamation was received by the 
people with murmurs and growls, whereupon he 
sent for three of his board — Kuyter, Melyn, and 
Hall — to come next morning at eight o'clock and 
confer with him as to the best means of allaying 
the popular discontent. Apparently, however, he 
had not the matter very closely at heart, for he 
Kieft's ^^^s ^^P with the dawn and off somewhere 

rudeness. ^^ other busiucss, wliilo the three gentle- 
men duly arrived at his office at eight and sat there 
unheeded till past noon, when they went off to 
their dinners " as wise as they came." Then the 
brewers refused to pay their tax of three guilders, 
and the question was carried into court, or, in other 
words, before Kieft himself and his subservient 
council, who speedily gave judgment against the 
men of malt, and punished their contumacy by 
confiscating sundry casks of beer and handing 
them over to the thirsty soldiers. 

After six months of such wrangling, while the 
embers of the Indian war still smouldered, the 
Eight Men could bear it no longer, and they 
addressed an eloquent letter to the States Gen- 
eral : " Our fields lie fallow and waste ; our 
dwellings and other buildings are burned ; not a 
handful can be either planted or sown 
the Eight this autumn on the deserted places ; the 


crops which God permitted to come forth 
during the past summer remain on the fields stand- 
ing and rotting ; ... we have no means to pro- 
vide necessaries for wives or children ; and we sit 
here amid thousands of barbarians, from whom 


we find neither peace nor mercy. . . . There are 
among us those who . . . for many long years 
have endeavoured at great expense to improve their 
lands and villages ; others, with their private capi- 
tal, have equipped with all necessaries their own 
ships ; some, again, have come hither with ships in- 
dependent of the Company, freighted with a large 
quantity of cattle, and with a number of families ; 
who have erected handsome buildings on the spots 
selected for their people, cleared away the forest, 
enclosed their plantations and brought them under 
the plough, so as to be an ornament to the coun- 
try and a profit to the proprietors, after their long 
laborious toil. The whole of these now lie in 
ashes through a foolish hankering after war. For 
all right-thinking men here know that these Indians 
have lived as lambs among us, until a few years 
ago. . . . These hath the Director, by various 
uncalled-for proceedings, so embittered against the 
Netherlands nation, that we do not believe that 
anything will bring them and peace back, unless 
the Lord, who bends all men's hearts to his will, 
should propitiate them." The memorial goes on 
to give an account of the origin and progress of 
the war, and of the Director's methods of govern- 
ment ; and it warns the States General against 
putting their trust in an elaborate report which 
Kieft had himself sent over to the Hague. ''^ If 
we are correctly informed by those who have seen 
it," says the memorial, " it contains as many lies 
as lines." Then the Eight Men conclude their 
petition as follows : " Honoured Lords, this is 
what we have, in the sorrow of our hearts, to com- 


plain of ; that one man wlio has been sent out, 
sworn and instructed by his lords and masters, to 
whom he is responsible, should dispose here of our 
lives and property according to his will and plea- 
sure, in a manner so arbitrary that a king would 
not be suffered legally to do. We shall end here, 
and commit the matter wholly to our God, who, 
we pray and heartily trust, will move your Lord- 
ships's minds and bless your Lordships's delibera- 
tions, so that one of these two things may happen 
— either that a Governor may be speedily sent 
with a beloved peace to us, or that their Honours 
[i. e, the Company] will be pleased to permit us 
to return, with wives and children, to our dear 
Fatherland. For it is impossible ever to settle 
this country until a different system be introduced 
here, and a new Governor be sent out 

Request for . , i i i n i i 

Beif-govern- witli uiorc pcopic, who shall scttlc tlicm- 

ment. i • • i i i i 

selves in suitable places, one near the 
other, in form of villages and hamlets, and elect 
from among themselves a bailiff, or schout, and 
schepens, who shall be empowered to send depu- 
ties to vote on public affairs with the Director and 
Council ; so that hereafter the Country may not 
be again brought into similar danger." 

This petition thus asked for a new governor and 
for some limitation of his power by representatives 
of the people. The first part of the request was 
promptly granted. It was decided that the gov- 
ernment of New Netherland should be vested in a 
Supreme Council of three persons, — the Director 
General, a Vice Director, and a Fiscal, or Trea- 
surer. After some changes of plan, the person 


selected for Director General was Peter Stuyve- 
sant, lately governor of the island of Curagoa. 
Having lost a leg in a fight with the Por- pg^g^. g^^y. 
tuguese at San Martin, he returned to '''''^"*- 
Holland in the autumn of 1644, and was appointed 
in May, 1645, to replace Kieft in the government 
of New Netherland. Various causes, however, de- 
layed the Company in completing its preparations 
and instructions, so that it was only after the lapse 
of two years, in May, 1647, that Stuyvesant arrived 
at Manhattan. 

Meanwhile, in the summer of 1645, a solid peace 
was made with the Algonquin tribes. The terrific 
blow struck by Underbill in the preceding year 
had put an end to anything like concerted ac- 
tion among the tribes, and some had hastened to 
make terms for themselves, while others had kept 
up a vexatious desultory warfare. By this time 
all had come to realize that, since every white 
man's scalp cost several Indian lives, 

^ , ' Treaty with 

fiohtins: was too expensive a luxury. On theAigon- 

^ '^ ■"■ "^ quia tribes. 

the 30th of August there was a concourse 
of citizens in front of Fort Amsterdam, their sober 
doublets and dark peaked hats contrasting strongly 
with the parti-coloured blankets, the scarlet feath- 
ers, and shining bead-work of the cinnamon-hued 
sachems of Weckquaesgecks and Sing Sings, Ta]D- 
pans and Haverstraws, Hacken sacks and Marech- 
kawiecks, Wappinecks and Raritans, with other 
Algonquins who had come to smoke the pipe of 
peace. In a group by themselves sat the Mohawk 
envoys, who represented the great Iroquois league, 
the friends of the Dutch and overlords of the 


Algonquins, upon wliom their small eyes glowered 
in a Satanic ecstasy of contempt. Pipes were 
smoked and belts of wam23um passed. The arti- 
cles of the treaty were read and received with 
acquiescent grunts. One of them prescribed that 
in case of any injury done to an Indian by a white 
man, the proper remedy was not to murder white 
men, but to make complaint to the Director at 
New Amsterdam ; and similarly, in case of damage 
done by Indians, the Dutch were to complain to 
his sachem. Various provisions were made for 
avoiding quarrels, and by a special article the Indi- 
ans bound themselves to restore the captive grand- 
daughter of Anne Hutchinson. This promise was 
fulfilled, and it is said that the little girl, now 
eleven years old, could sj^eak Algonquin much 
better than English and was unwilling to come 
back to civilized life. 

The return of peace did not regain for Kieft 
whatever popularity he may once have had. The 
news that he had been superseded was hailed with 
general rejoicing. It is said that more than one 
citizen threatened to give him a flogging as soon 
as he should have taken off the livery with which 
his masters had bedecked him. Such allusions to 
Kieft as a public servant were sure to throw him 
into a rage ; he called it seditious talk, and pun- 
ished it with fine and imprisonment. He would 
allow no appeal from his own decisions to Hol- 
land, and on this point many sturdy citizens as- 
Kieftaud Sailed him. Dominie Bogardus tliun- 
Bogardus. ^^^^^ ^^ |^- ^^^ f ^.^.^ |.|^g pulpit I " What are 

the great men of this country but vessels of wrath 


and fountains of woe and trouble ? Tliey think 
of nothing but to plunder the property of others, 
to dismiss, to banish, to transport to Holland ! " 
When it came to this pass, the wrathful Director 
tried to out-thunder the man of God. He kept a 
squad of soldiers waiting just outside the church, 
and when the parson ventured upon any such 
invective, a deafening roll of drums would re- 
spond; then the voice of Bogardus would wax 
louder and his words more defiant, and the roar of 
cannon from the fort would reinforce the rattle, 
but in vain ; the stentorian Dominie could neither 
be silenced nor browbeaten. Kieft therefore had 
recourse to legal proceedings, and summoned Bo- 
gardus before the court to answer a list of accu- 
sations, with a preamble, of which the following 
extract is a specimen : " You have no less indidged 
in scattering abuse during our administration. 
Scarcely a person in the entire land have you 
spared, not even your own wife and your sister ; 
especially when you were in good company and 
tipsy. Still mixing up your human passion with 
the chain of truth, you associated with the greatest 
criminals of the country, taking their part and 
defending them," and so on. This last allusion is 
explained by a clause of the indictment, which 
charges the Dominie with upholding Adriansen 
after his attempt to assassinate the Director. The 
arraignment is a long one, but reduces itself to 
this, that Bogardus is an ill-mannered drunkard, 
who stirs up the people to sedition. When this 
document was served upon the fiery parson, he 
refused to appear and plead to it, declaring that 


tlie Director had no legal right to summon him, 
and here the matter stayed. In spite of endless 
discussion the Dominie held his ground. He was 
not only a much stronger character than Kieft, but 
he likewise had the people on his side ; so he nat- 
urally ]3revailed, and the mortified Director had to 
submit. Of the marriage of Bogardus to the pretty 
and wealthy widow, Anneke elans, and the century 
of litigation over the title to her farm, we shall 
have occasion to speak hereafter.^ 

At length, in May, 1647, Peter Stuyvesant ar- 
rived, and the glee of the people sought expres- 
Arrivai of ^^^^ ^^^ sucli prof use military salutes that 
stuyvesant. n^^rly all the powder in the fort was 
used up. Stuyvesant's speech was brief and to the 
point, but it was not exactly that of a ruler who 
meant to be guided by public opinion rather than 
his own. " I shall govern you as a father his chil- 
dren, for the advantage of the chartered West India 
Company, and these burghers, and this land ; " 
in these words he summed up his view of the situa- 
tion, and he summed it up correctly. In his mind 
the contrast between bad and good government 
was not the contrast between ijaternal and popular 
government, for the latter he would have ruled out 
as mere idiocy ; it was the contrast between selfish 
and unselfish paternal government. If his rule 
was to be better than Van Twiller's and Kieft's, 
it was because God had given him more honesty 
or more sense, or both. But he had no notion of 
resigning any of a ruler's prerogatives. He was 
first and always a man of masterful personality. 

1 See below, vol. li. p. 259. 


There is something curious about this man's 
family name. When Diedrich Knickerbocker tells 
us that Tiviller is a corruption of Twijflei\ or 
"Doubter," he is of course simply laughing with 
us. But in all seriousness the name Stuyvesant is 
a compound of stiiyven^ to stir up, with sand. It 
seems to have been originally the name of a breezy 
locality on the shore of the Zuyder Zee, where 
the sand blew about pretty freely ; and nothing is 
more common than the adoption of a place-name 
for a family-name, as Bolton, Greenfield, or Froth - 
ingham. But if we were inclined, like Knicker- 
bocker, to a little harmless jesting, we might 
interpret Stuyvesant, not without some show of 
propriety, as he who kicks up a dust. Peter 
Stuyvesant, son of Rev. Balthazar Stuy- 
vesant, was born in 1592. He had a col- namJaSd 
lege education, and always prided himself ^""^ ^' 
on his attainments in Latin. After leaving college 
he entered the army, but very few details of his 
life are known until we find him, as governor of 
Cura^oa, losing a leg in battle. He married Ju- 
dith Bayard, granddaughter of Nicholas Bayard, 
a French Protestant clergyman who fled to the 
Netherlands in 1572, after the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew. Tradition connects him with the 
family of Bayard, the knight without fear and 
without reproach. Judith Bayard's brother Sam- 
uel married Peter Stuyvesant's sister, and their 
sons, Nicholas, Balthazar, and Peter, were the pro- 
genitors of the Bayards in America. The ship 
which brought Director Stuyvesant to Manhattan 
brought also his wife and sister and these three 


We are not obliged to draw upon the worshipful 
Knickerbocker's imagination for a picture of Peter, 
for among the collections of the New York His- 
torical Society there is a fine portrait of him 
painted from life, and probably in Holland shortly 
before his coming to New Netherland, for the face 
is that of a man rather more than fifty years old. 
His char- ^^ ^^ ^ stroug f acc, sucli as might have 
acter. bclouG^ed to oue of Cromwell's sturdiest 

Ironsides. " A valiant, w^eather-beaten, mettle- 
some, obstinate, leathern-sided, lion-hearted, gener- 
ous-spirited old governor," — such are the epithets 
applied to him by the admiring but judicious 
Knickerbocker. Years of military service had 
made him a rigid disciplinarian, and in public 
places there was much less of the suaviter in modo 
to be seen about him than of the fortiter in re. 
Interference and meddling, or what he chose to 
call so, had short shrift at his hands. On the 
voyage to New Netherland, his little squadron 
captured a Spanish ship, and he invited his Vice 
Director, Van Dincklagen, to a consultation as to 
how the prize had best be disposed of. The 
Treasurer, Van Dyck, also came into the cabin to 
give advice, whereupon Stuyvesant gave him a 
push and exclaimed, " Get out of here ! 
autocratic whcu I waut vou I '11 Call you ! " When 

behaviour, ,« -,-, ■^ i -r^ 

he formally assumed command at J^ort 
Amsterdam, he sat with his hat on, as our infor- 
mant tells us, " quite like the Czar of Muscovy," 
while a group of the principal inhabitants stood be- 
fore him bareheaded and waited quite long enough 
before he condescended to take personal notice of 


them. He soon began issuing proclamations with 
as much zeal as Kieft had shown. The usual pro- 
visions were made against drunkenness, brawling, 
and selling liquor to the Indians, and the time- 
honoured anathemas were hurled at smugglers. 
The export duties on all furs were increased, and a 
new excise was laid upon wines and spirits, much 
to the disgust of a good many peoj^le. Some said 
the new governor was not so much of a father, after 
all ; some asked, with a sigh, if this was not just 
the sort of thing they had complained of in Direc- 
tor Kieft. 

Now the affairs of ex-Director Kieft were about 
to give some kind of an answer to this question, 
and to show on which side Stuyvesant's natural 
sympathies were enlisted. On the day when Kieft 
handed over his office to his successor, it was pro- 
posed that the conventional vote of thanks should 
be ffiven him for his official conduct ; 

1 f 1 p 1 T-i- 1 Petition of 

whereupon two oi the ablest of the height Kuyter and 
Men, Kuyter and Melyn, spoke out 
boldly, saying they had no reason to thank him, 
and would not. Presently these two gentlemen 
came forward with a petition for a judicial inquiry 
into Kieft' s policy and behaviour from the time, 
in 1639, when he first tried to impose taxes upon 
the Indians. They wished to propound a series of 
interrogatories, and they intended to base upon 
the answers a report to be carried over to Holland 
and used as a weapon against the late Director. 

Stuyvesant was not so dull as to overlook the 
bearings of this bold proposal. If such a weapon 
could be forged against Kieft, another of like 


metal miglit some clay be sharpened against him- 
self. The sacredness of the Directorship must be 
sustained. Stuyvesant felt as in later days the 
Emperor Joseph II. felt when he warned his sister 
Marie Antoinette that the French government was 
burninsf its finsrers in helpinof the Ameri- 

Stiiyvesant f J= 

befriends can rcbcls. I, too, lilvC vour Americans 

Kieft. ' . "^ 

well enough, said he, but I do not forget 
that my trade is that of king, — c'est man metier 
d'etre roil So it was Stuyvesant's trade to be a 
colonial governor, and the business must be re- 
spected. He at once took Kieft' s part. He 
declared tliat the officers of the government must 
not be obliged to disclose government secrets 
simply on the demand of two private citizens. 
Moreover, to petition against one's rulers was flat 
treason, no matter how much cause there might 
be for it. This was practically equivalent to the 
abominable doctrine set forth a few years later by 
Sir Robert Filmer, that " a thing may by the king 
be commanded contrary to law, and yet obedience 
to such a command is necessary." But there was 
no standing up against Stuyvesant in the council, 
and the petition of Melyn and Kuyter was rejected. 
This refusal, however, was not enough to soothe 
the ruffled dignity of the Director. It was now 
his turn to assume the aggressive ; the two " ma- 
lignants," as he called them, must be made to 
smart. He ordered that Kuyter and Melyn should 
be interrogated concerning the origin and conduct 
of the Indian war. Here Kieft, finding Stuyve- 
sant so ready to take his part, came forward and 
accused them of being the real authors of the me- 


morial which the Eight Men had sent to the West 
India Company, and which had led to his removal. 
That memorial, said Kieft, was a false libel which 
those two malignants had contrived to send to 
Holland without the knowledsfe of their 

° Attacks 

coUeaOTCS. Kief t urcred that they should uponKuyter 

* . andMelyn. 

be compelled to produce all their corre- 
spondence with the Company, and to show cause 
why they should not be summarily banished as 
*'■ pestilent and seditious persons." When Stuyve- 
sant granted this request and summoned the two 
gentlemen to answer, they soon began to show such 
superabundant evidence in support of their accusa- 
tions against Kieft, that it became necessary to drop 
this line of proceeding and find some other. In- 
dictments were accordingly brought against Kuyter 
and Melyn, on sundry trumped-up charges, chiefly 
alleging treacherous dealings with the Indians, 
and attempts to stir up rebellion. With shameless 
disregard of evidence a prearranged verdict of 
guilty was rendered ; Melyn was sentenced to seven 
years' banishment and a fine of 300 guilders, 
Kuyter to three years' banishment and a fine of 
150 guilders. Stuyvesant wished to have Melyn 
sentenced to death, but it was felt that this would 
be going too far.^ Melyn and Kuyter were to be 

^ As for Kuyter, he was, in Stuyvesaiit's opinion, little better. 
He had shaken his fing-er at Kieft, and that g-reat jurisconsult, 
Josse de Damhouder, maintained that he who threatens a magis- 
trate or clerg'yman even by a frown, is g"uilty of assaulting him; 
how much more g-uilty, then, if he shakes his finger at him ? 
Kuyter had also spoken ill of the ex-Director, and, according- to 
the learned Bernardinus de Muscatellus, " he who slanders God, 
the magistrate, or his parents, must be stoned to death." O'Cal- 
laghan, Hist. New Netherlands ii. 33. 


sent to Holland, but they must beware of telling 
their tale of woe to the authorities. " If I thoufrht 
there were any danger of your trying an appeal," 
quoth Stuyvesant to Melyn with a baleful frown, 
" I would hang you this minute to the tallest tree 
on the island ! " On another occasion he observed, 
" If any man tries to appeal from me to the States 
General, I will make him a foot shorter, pack the 
pieces off to Holland and let him appeal in that 
Kieft sails fasliiou." This was brave talk, but if 
for Holland, harcl-headcd Peter supposed his victims 
were going back to Holland without using their 
tongues, he did not show his wonted good sense. 
On the 16th of August, 1647, Kieft set sail for 
Holland, with his fortune, which his enemies said 
was ill gotten, while they rated it at 400,000 guild- 
ers. He took with him Kuyter and Melyn as 
prisoners, and in the same ship went Dominie 

And now there happened one of those singular 
incidents which we sometimes hear called " special 
providences." By some error of reckoning the 
ship which carried this discordant com2)any got 
into the Bristol Channel, struck on a rock, and 
was beaten to pieces. In the presence of death 
Kieft confessed to Kuyter and Melyn that he had 
grievously wronged them, and he begged their 
sjjip. forgiveness. At daybreak the ship went 

wrecked. Jown in tlic prcscncc of hundreds of 
Englishmen on the strand, who did what they 
could to rescue the passengers. Eighty-one per- 
sons, including Kieft and Bogardus, were drowned ; 
twenty reached the shore in safety, and among 


these were Kuyter and Melyn. No sooner were 
they landed than these canny men, caring even 
more for reputation than for life, had the shallow 
waters dragged for three days, until they brought 
np a box which contained their most important 
papers unharmed. Armed with these documents 
they were enabled completely to justify themselves 
before the States General, and in the course of 
this story we shall again encounter them. 

In spite of Stuy vesant's hot and arbitrary temper 
he soon showed tliat he had more sense than Kieft. 
He found the military defences of New Amster- 
dam in a shocking state of dilapidation, and his 
instructions required him to use all 23ossible de- 
spatch in putting everything into excellent repair. 
Much money was required for this, and the only 
way to get it was to yield in some degree to the 
popular demand for representation. The excise 
on beer and wines was universally detested and 
partially evaded, and more revenue was indispen- 
sable. It was necessary to give New Amsterdam 
at least some semblance of a free town govern- 
ment ; and naturally the framework of government 
introduced was that with which the Dutch people 
were already familiar. In the Netherlands, since 
the thirteenth century, every town below the grade 
of a city was governed by what old writers call 
" A Tribunal of Well-born Men," elected by all 
the inhabitants entitled to vote. This The Nine 
tribunal was not only an executive body, ^^"' 
but also sat as a court in criminal and civil cases. 
The number of the Well-born Men varied, but was 
usually nine. The analogy of this board was com- 


monly followed in the case of representative bodies 
chosen by a group of constituencies. In such cases 
the local lord sometimes participated ; the people 
would choose twice the number of representatives 
required, and out of these the lord would select 
half. On this principle Stuyvesant ordered an 
election, in September, 1647, in which the people 
of Manhattan, Breuckelen, Amersfoort, and Pa- 
vonia chose eighteen of their " most notable, reason- 
able, honest, and respectable " persons, from whom 
the Director and his council were to select the 
board of Nine Men, to assist, when called upon 
(for, mind you. Director Stuyvesant had no notion 
of letting them assemble without permission), — to 
assist^ ichen called upon^ in providing for the 
general welfare. It was only at first that these 
dangerous Nine Men were to be obtained through 
the incendiary expedient of a popular election. 
There was to be an annual meeting of the board 
in December, at which six members were to go 
out and nominate twelve candidates to succeed 
themselves, and out of these twelve the Director 
and council would select six. Thus the Nine Men 
formed a self-perpetuating body, calculated to fall 
more and more under the Director's influence. 
Nevertheless, as we shall see, the Nine Men con- 
trived to maintain a more or less independent atti- 
tude and to represent with some efficiency the 
interests of the people. The beginnings of consti- 
tutional government were somewhat more visible 
than under Kieft. 

But before we go on to recount some of Stuyve- 
sant's adventures with his Nine Men, affairs at the 


north of New Netherlancl call for a moment's men- 
tion. Ttie position of the Director of this New 
World province had some curious points of resem- 
blance, albeit on a petty scale, with the position of 
a feudal king in the Middle Ages. He had to be 
perpetually alert to meet the invasion of ^ Director's 
barbarians or the encroachments of civil- ^i®c^^*^i<^^- 
ized neighbours ; he had to pay some heed to the 
distant States General, which interfered very little 
with him, as the Emperor meddled but little with 
remote vassals ; he had to pay much more heed to 
the distant Company, which interfered a good 
deal, as the popes meddled much with kings ; at 
his own doors he had to consider how to make 
both ends meet without surrendering his sover- 
eignty to a parliamentary body ; and finally he 
had to assert over neighbouring feudal chiefs an 
authority which they refused to acknowledge. Of 
this insubordination there was a curious instance 
in New Netherland. 

In sketching the administration of Peter Minuit 
I observed that of all the early patroonships there 
was none that flourished like that which Rensseiaer- 
was founded by Kilian van Rensselaer ^^^^- 
far up the river. This greater prosperity was due 
partly to Van Rensselaer's more intelligent policy, 
and partly to geographical situation. Among the 
colonists were many thrifty farmers who took 
pains in cultivating their estates, and for general 
education and respectability the standard was much 
higher than down at Manhattan. The advantage 
of situation lay in the proximity of the Mohawks. 
It will be remembered that in the early days of 


Fort Orange, tliere were Mohegans in the neigli- 
bourliood, between the Hudson and Housatonic 
valleys, and the Dutch here came near being drawn 
into the intertribal quarrels of Algonquin and 
Iroquois. But in 1628 the Mohawks drove the 
Mohegans into the lower valley of the Connecti- 
cut ; on the Berkshire Hills they made a solitude 
and called it peace. Fort Orange and its neigh- 
bourhood thereafter were secure in Mohawk pro- 
tection. In the terrible war of 1641-45 Rensse- 
laerwyck and Fort Orange were unmolested. In 
after times the relations of the great manorial 
lords to the Indians of the Long House — espe- 
cially of the Dutch Schuylers at Albany and 
the Irish Johnsons in the Mohawk valley — made 
Albany until after the Revolutionary War one of 
the most important places in North America. 

This situation also made Van Rensselaer's feu- 
dal domain comparatively independent. All the 
patroons, as we have seen, were inclined to assert 
for themselves a freedom of action, especially in 
buying and shipping furs, which the government 
at New Amsterdam was not at all disposed to 
allow. The exercise of such freedom was of course 
much easier at a distance of 150 miles than in 
Staten Island or Pavonia. It was also easier in a 
manor that was large enough to be sufficient unto 
itself. Already at his first com in "^ the 

Feudal . n t^-t t^ 

insubordi- Amsterdam jeweller, Kilian van Kensse- 
van laer, had held his hand somewhat high, 

Rensselaer. , i i i i i • i • 

asseverating that he held his patroonship 
directly from the States General and was not 
amenable to the authorities at Manhattan. The 


venerable Knickerbocker's humorous description 
comes near to the letter of history and is entirely 
true to its spirit. As despatches came now and 
then to Van Twiller and his council, narrating 
sundry usurpations of authority on the part of the 
lordly Kilian, " at each new report," says Knick- 
erbocker, *' the governor and his councillors looked 
at each other, raised their eyebrows, gave an extra 
puff or two of smoke, and then relapsed into their 
usual tranquillity. At length tidings came that 
the patroon of Rensselaerwyck had extended his 
usurpations along the river, beyond the limits 
granted him by their High Mightinesses ; and that 
he had even seized upon a rocky island in the 
Hudson, commonly known by the name of Beam 
or Bear's Island, where he was erecting a fortress, 
to be called by the lordly name of Rensselaerstein. 
Wouter van Twiller was aroused by this intelli- 
gence . . . and despatched a letter to the patroon 
of Rensselaerwyck, demanding by what Weapon 
right he had seized upon this island, ^''^^^' 
which lay beyond the bounds of his patroonship. 
The answer of Kilian van Rensselaer was in his 
own lordly style, By wapen regt [^ = By weapon 
rigJit]^ that is to say, by the right of arms, or 
in common parlance by club-law. This answer 
plunged the worthy Wouter in one of the deepest 
doubts he had in the whole course of his adminis- 

Now there was nowhere a livelier trade in 
beaver skins than on Van Rensselaer's manor, in- 
somuch that the tiny hamlet hard by Fort Orange, 
which was its commercial centre, and which in 


course of time developed into the city of Albany, 
was significantly baptized Beverwyck. 

Beverwyck. ^ "^ ^ i • 1 i 

Van Kensselaer as patroon claimed and 
exercised the rig^lit of eno^aQ^ino: in this trade for 
his own private behoof, a claim which the Com- 
pany and the government at New Amsterdam 
steadfastly denied. He also undertook to forbid 
all other persons from trading in furs, within the 
limits of his manor, for their own private benefit. 
But his attempts to restrain such traders, though 
more successful than the Company's attempts to 
restrain him, were far from satisfactory. In 1644 
it was estimated that between three and four thou- 
sand furs had been carried away during the past 
twelvemonth by unlicensed traders. The patroon 
then bethought him of his fortress of Rensselaer- 
stein which he had erected on Bear Island by 
"weapon right." He now proceeded to invest 
that place with another kind of right, also familiar 

to most people in the Middle A^es. At 

staple right. -^ _ i • n i i • i i? 

Dordrecht it was called " staple right, 
by which name it came to be well known through- 
out Europe. The word " staple," which is com- 
mon to English and Dutch, means originally a pile 
or heap ; and staple right, conferred upon a town, 
was the right to compel any passing vessel either 
to pay a duty for the privilege of passing by, or 
else to unload its cargo to be sold to customers in 
the town. The heaps of unloaded cargo piled up 
on the docks or in the market-place were the sta- 
ples, whence in modern times the word has ac- 
quired a wider application to merchandise bought 
or sold in great quantities. 


Now Van Rensselaer in 1644 invested Bear 
Island with staple right, and appointed Nicholas 
Koorn as his " wacht-meester " (watchnaster) or 
guard in command of the fort. Koorn' s instruc- 
tions were to collect a toll of five guilders from 
every vessel passing up or down the river, except 
the Company's own ships. Every skipper, too, 
must strike his colours in homage to the patroon. 
So it happened that on a summer day, as Govert 
Loockermans, on his way from Fort Orange to New 
Amsterdam in his yacht Good Hope, was passing 
Bear Island, a charge of powder was fired from 
the fort and a figure on the rampart ^^^^ 
shouted, "Strike thy colours!" "For ^^^''^"^• 
whom shall 1 strike ? " asked Loockermans. " For 
the Lord Kilian and the staple right of Rensse- 
laerstein," cried the watchmaster ; to whom quoth 
the sturdy Loockermans, " I strike for nobody 
but the Prince of Orange and their High Mighti- 
nesses the States General." Koorn then fired 
three shots, the first of which tore a sail and cut 
a rope, while the second passed overhead, and the 
third made a hole in the flag. For this arrogant 
behaviour Koorn was summoned to New Amster- 
dam and mulcted in damages, against which he 
made a formal protest, asserting the right of his 
master, the patroon, to keep out free traders and 
to exact homage from all persons entering or leav- 
ing his domains. 

Early in 1646 the death of Kilian van Rensse- 
laer left his youthful son Johannes as representa- 
tive of his vast estates, and for a moment the boy's 
uncle, Van Twiller the ex-Director, emerges from 


obscurity as one of his guardians. Brandt van 
Slechtenhorst was appointed commissary to govern 
Rensselaerwyck, and Nicholas Koorn was pro- 
moted from his fort on Bear IsLand to be schout- 
fiscal or collector and treasurer of the patroonship. 
Adrian van ^lic pcrsou wlioui lic rcplaccd was a man 
derDouck. ^£ ^rudition, an interesting character, 
Adrian van der Donck, of Breda. He had been 
schout-fiscal of Eensselaerwyck for five years, but 
had lately married a daughter of Rev. Francis 
Doughty, and now moved to New Amsterdam. It 
was Van der Donck's wish to become a patroon, 
and he bought from the Weckquaesgeck tribe a 
tract of land north of Spuyten Duyvel Creek. 
The people used to call him Jonhheer ("young 
lord ") Van der Donck, which indicates that his 
father was either a nobleman or a personage of 
some consequence ; his manor was commonly 
known as "de Jonkheer's Landt," and the 

Yonkers. . „ .,. -«7- i 

name to us is now lamuiar as i onkers. 
We shall presently meet with this " young lord " 
as one of the Nine Men. 

Director Stuyvesant was not long in getting 
into trouble with Eensselaerwyck. One effect of 
the late war was to make him particularly deter- 
mined to suppress the practice of selling 

Selling fire- i t t mi i ^ 

arms to firearms to the Indians, ihe people of 

Indians. -« t i i • • i i 

Manhattan and its neighbourhood, sur- 
rounded by unfriendly Algonquins, cordially sup- 
ported him in this policy, but in Eensselaerwyck, 
where there were none but friendly Iroquois 
within reach, the feeling was different. It was 
not felt to be necessary to obey the Director Gen- 


eral, and Van Sleclitenliorst seized the first oppor- 
tunity of showing his insubordination. Stuyve- 
sant appointed the 26th of April, 1648, to be a 
day of fasting and prayer, and when the proclama- 
tion was received in Beverwyck, Yan Slechten- 
horst refused to have it read, and made a formal 
protest against it as trespassing upon the authority 
of his lordship the patroon. On hearing of this, 
the Director went up to Fort Orange with insubordi- 
a small military guard, and exchanged Suet at"' 
defiances with Van Slechtenhorst. It ^^^^^^^y^^^- 
was Greek against Greek ; the commissary was as 
blunt and obstinate as the Director. Stuyvesant 
handed over a list of peremptory orders ; Slecht- 
enhorst declared he would not obey this one any 
way, nor this, nor that, nor the other, and he asked 
with a sneer if the Director supposed himself to 
be patroon of Rensselaerwyck. The quarrel had 
its comical side, as most quarrels have. The 
hamlet of Beverwyck snuggled so close to Fort 
Orange that Stuyvesant thought it wise to forbid 
the building of houses within range of its guns, 
lest they might interfere with firing. He also 
ordered that the wall of palisades should be re- 
placed by a wall of stone masonry. As soon as 
Stuyvesant had departed, Slechtenhorst began put= 
ting up some houses within pistol-shot of the fort, 
and he issued an order forbidding any servants of 
the Company to quarry stone or cut timber upon 
the patroon's estates. 

We can imagine Stuyvesant's wrath on hearing 
of this contumacious conduct. He sent up a squad 
of soldiers to Fort Orange, with orders to Van 


Brugge, the commandant, to pull down the houses 
stuyvesant's ^^^^^ Were just beguu, and to arrest Van 
wrath. Slechtenhorst and serve upon him a 

summons to appear at Fort Amsterdam. At the 
same tmie notice was sent that no more firearms 
should be supplied to the manor of Rensselaer- 
wyck except upon express orders from the Com- 

Van Brugge was a courteous officer, and re- 
frained from meddling with the houses or trying 
to arrest the patroon's commissary. But he served 
the summons, which Slechtenhorst answered by a 
letter to Stuvvesant, in which he told 

Slechten- , . , i i i \ • a c i • 

horst's him he should not obey it. As tor his 

defiance. . . , 

houses they were going to stay just where 
he had put them, and as for Stuyvesant's taking 
stone or timber from the manor, he would like to 
see him try it ! The Director replied by ordering 
Van Brugge to take the stone and timber by force 
if necessary, and to pull down every house within 
musket range of the fort. He also sent a peremp- 
tory notice to Slechtenhorst to appear at a court 
to be held at New Amsterdam in April. 

This controversy caused much excitement in the 
quiet hamlet of Beverwyck, and mightily aston- 
ished a party of Mohawks who happened to be 
tarrying there. The question of jurisdiction was 
too complicated for their understandings, but one 
A Mohawk ^^ i^s practical aspects especially struck 
comment. ^\^q^^ '' Jg n't old Woodcu Leg a queer 
fellow," they said, " to wish to pull down houses 
that would shelter you in winter ! " But the gov- 
ernment in Holland approved what Wooden Leg 


was doing. Early in 1650 the dispute was settled, 
the Director was sustained at every point, and the 
hopes of Kensselaerwyck for independence were 
forever dashed. 

Meanwhile the troubles which had been growing 
between the Director and the Nine Men came at 
length to a crisis. Debts due to the Company to 
the amount of 30,000 guilders, which Kieft had 
left uncollected, were now called in by Stuyvesant, 
and distress was thus occasioned. Moreover, trade 
suffered from an unwise commercial policy. The 
experiment of high custom-house duties was being 
tried with a thoroughness which aroused much 
discontent, and the Director's favourite punish- 
ment for attempts at evasion was a wholesale con- 
fiscation of goods. Thus Manhattan began to get 
a bad name among seaports, and ships from the 
West Indies were afraid to come in there. There 
was so much complaint that the Nine Men pro- 
posed that a delegation should be sent to Holland, 
to set forth the present condition of the colony and 
to ask for divers reforms. At first the stuyvesant's 
Director strongly approved of this sug- van'^dtr'^^^^ 
gestion, but presently it appeared that ^o^^<=^- 
he intended to have the delegation sent in his 
name. On the other hand, the Nine Men insisted 
that it should go in the name of the people, and 
should give their own statement of the case. They 
were willing to promise not to send anything to 
Holland without giving the Director a copy, so 
that he might answer it if he wished, but they 
were not willing to entrust to him the statement 
of their case. Adrian van der Donck, the " young 


lord " already mentioned, had lately become a 
member of . the board of Nine Men, and was at 
once recognized as a natural leader. He was a 
full match for Stuyvesant, who had now made up 
his mind that no formal representation of facts 
should be allowed to go to Holland which did not 
emanate from himself. Thus the issue was drawn. 
The case is peculiarly interesting, since there were 
no atrocities or instances of gross oppression to be 
complained of, nor even any grievous mismanage- 
ment such as Kieft's Indian war. Stuyvesant was 
not a vulgar tyrant, but an honest and conscien- 
tious man, who was governing New Netherland as 
well as he knew how. The purpose of the Nine 
Men, as expressed by their spokesman Van der 
Donck, was equally honourable. It was simply 
one theory of government contending against an- 

Thus there came about a deadlock, which the 

Nine Men proposed to undo by calling a great 

council or assembly of citizens to con- 

A deadlock. . . -r* o 

sider the points at issue. But otuyvesant 
would not call together such an assembly. New 
Amsterdam, however, was a small town, so that 
Van der Donck and his friends could go from 
house to house in a neighbourly way and learn the 
sentiments of every family. Van der Donck made 
a note of such things in a journal, whereat Stuyve- 
sant threw him into jail and seized all his papers. 
Then he summoned a council of his own choosing, 
and charged Van der Donck with bringing alle- 
gations calculated to throw the government into 
contempt ; let him either prove these allegations or 


retract them ; and meanwhile let him be unseated 
from the board of Nine Men. 

This decree, to call it by its right name, was 
received with tame acquiescence, and the outlook 
for the popular party seemed gloomy, when all at 
once came a thunderbolt. A ship arrived from 
Holland, bringing Cornelius Melyn. He Return of 
and Kuyter, saved from shipwreck, had ^^^y^- 
made their complaint to the States General, and 
Stuyvesant's harsh treatment of them had been 
condemned. Melyn now returned to Manhattan 
with a safe-conduct from their High Mightinesses, 
and he brought with him also a writ of manda- 
mus^ citing the Director to appear at the Hague 
and defend himself. When Melyn landed at Fort 
Amsterdam the people were assembled in church, 
and he had the keen satisfaction of reading the 
judgment and the mandamus to the entire com- 

This was a staggering blow for Stuyvesant. He 
declared that he should at once obey the manda- 
mus by sending his attorney to speak for him at 
the Hague. He was so far sobered as to refrain 
from further annoyance of Van der Donck, with 
whom the sympathy of the people was freely ex- 
pressed. Thus the Nine Men had their 

• 1 1 Memorial to 

way and prepared a memorial to the the states 

o /^ 1 1 • c 1 . General. 

fetates (ieneral, asking tor three things : 
FirsU that their High Mightinesses should oust the 
Company and assume the direct government of 
New Netherland ; Secondly., that they should give 
New Amsterdam a suitable municipal government ; 
Thirdly., that they should establish the boundaries 


of New Netlierland beyond question by treaty with 
friendly powers. 

In the course of this memorial the Nine Men 
invite the attention of the States General to the 
golden example set by their neighbours of New 
England, where, as they say with emphasis, "nei- 
ther patroons, nor lords, nor princes are known, 
but only the people." Such is the kind of govern- 
ment they wish to imitate in New Netlierland. 

AjDparently the thesis of the late Mr. Douglas 
Campbell, that American free institutions are 
derived not from England but from Holland, had 
not occurred to the Nine Men. 

Attached to this memorial was an eloquent 
Vertoogh, or Remonstrance, full of rich historical 
The Remon- ^^^^at. Botli papcrs wcrc written by Van 

strance. ^^^ Douck, wllO WaS choSCU, witll twO 

colleagues, to go to the Hague and lay them before 
the States General ; and so we will leave them in 
midsummer, 1649, speeding with a fair wind across 
the Atlantic, while the good wishes of the people 
go with them. 



Twenty-five years ago, when the late Lord 
Sherbrooke, better known as Kobert Lowe, was 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, he made a very- 
shallow speech on the uses of a classical educa- 
tion, in the course of which he amused himself 
with belittling the Greeks and Romans. Their 
history, he said, was hardly worth the 
time spent on it. The battle of Mara- events with 
thon, for example, was of less account 
than a modern explosion in a coal mine, which 
often slays a greater number of victims than the 
192 Greeks who perished in withstanding the hosts 
of Darius Hystaspes. The moral intended was 
that the newspaper is a better text-book than 
Herodotus. Now I can imagine that too exclusive 
attention to the newspaper, with its myriad discon- 
nected items of fact and fancy, might so destroy 
one's sense of perspective as to blind one to the 
importance of an event upon which hung the whole 
future of European civilization. No one with any 
sense of historic perspective needs to be told that 
the battle of Borodino, where 70,000 were killed 
and wounded, was a trivial event, even for Rus- 
sians, compared with the battle of Marathon. In 
history we cannot measure things with a foot rule. 


Possibly it may have occurred to some of my 
readers that the events recounted in the three fore- 
going chapters are extremely petty, almost beneath 
what some people call the dignity of history, what- 
ever that may mean. We have the squabbles of 
rather commonplace men in a wilderness, intrigues 
and fulminations over the possession of some crazy 
blockhouse, campaigns in which there is more curs- 
ing than slaying, varied by the protests of a small 
tradino- villas^e asrainst misoovernment. There is 
not much that is inspiring in it, and the pettiness 
stands to some extent confessed. There is cer- 
tainly no fateful Marathon here, yet here too we 
find that events physically small may have large 
consequences. Champlain's victory over the Mo- 
hawks at Ticonderoga in 1609 was in itself a small 
affair compared with Montcalm's victory over Brit- 
ish and American troops at the same place in 
1758 ; yet Champlain's fight is an event of prime 
importance in American history, while Montcalm's 
is but a subordinate incident. 

But even where the moral significance of an 
event is less marked than in this instance, there is 
real interest in the study of the minute and homely 
beginnings out of which great communities have 
grown. It is to be hoped that students 
o™homeiy of liistory will never forget the refusal of 
egmnmgs. ^^^ i^Qji of Watcrtowu in 1631 to pay 

part of the cost of a stockade at Cambridge ; nor 
is it in any wise beneath the dignity of history to 
recall the fact that the sitting of the Massachu- 
setts legislature in two chambers instead of one 
was determined by the grotesque incident of the 


Widow Sherman's stray pig.^ So in New Nether- 
land the disputes of the Director with his board of 
Nine Men, the questions of jurisdiction between 
the Company and the patroons, involve principles 
of permanent interest to any one who studies the 
building of states. Oftentimes, indeed, there is an 
advantage in contemplating political and social 
phenomena on a small scale. The forces at work 
and the personalities of the actors seem to stand 
out more sharply and distinctly against the simple 
background. In spite of Mr. Robert Lowe, there 
is no better elementary training in history than 
that which one gets from studying the small city- 
states of ancient Greece, or the town life of Italy 
and Flanders in the Middle Ages. 

In the beginnings of European colonization in 
America it is instructive to watch the kind of 
political seed sown in a virgin soil and see what it 
tells us concerning the fruition attained by the 
country from which it came. In the memorial 
addressed by the Nine Men of New Amsterdam to 
the States General at the Hague, we have seen 
that three things were asked for : 1. Government 
by the States General instead of by a commercial 
company; 2. A free municipal government at New 
Amsterdam instead of the arbitrary rule of the 
Director ; 3. An adjustment of boundaries by 
treaty with the English government, so as to afford 
some security for the future. At the same time the 
Nine Men took occasion to express their admira- 
tion for the easy and spontaneous way in which 
free government had sprouted up in the English 
^ See my Beginnings of New England^ pp. 105-108. 


colonies all around tliem. There were many 
English self- tilings of wliicli tliey did not approve 
government, j^^ ^j^^^^ neighbours of New England, but 
they did approve of the town meetings and select- 
men, the elected governors and the free legislative 
assemblies. These were time-honoured English in- 
stitutions, which the Puritans brought with them 
as inevitably as they brought their English speech, 
their Bibles, and their steeple hats. Under the 
influence of the feudal system the ancient English 
township meeting had differentiated into the open 
vestry for ecclesiastical and the manorial courts 
for civil purposes. The migration to New England 
was mainly a movement of organized churches; 
the manor with its courts was left behind, while the 
open vestry, resuming civil functions, became the 
town meeting. The change was almost automatic 
and unconscious ; it did itself. The genesis of 
the legislature was equally simple. The represen- 
tation of towns and boroughs by elected deputies 
in a county court had been for ages familiar to 
every Englishman, and the principle that only by 
such chosen representatives could he be taxed had 
been admitted for four centuries, though novf and 
then a king had partially succeeded in evading it. 
When the Company of Massachusetts Bay — with 
its governor, deputy-governor, and board of assist- 
ants — transferred itself across the Atlantic, it was 
only necessary to add to it the elected representa- 
tives, as was done after the Watertown protest, 
and there was at once a miniature parliament. 
When the towns on the Connecticut River organ- 
ized themselves into a state with a written consti- 


tution, they naturally followed tlie same model. It 
was the form in which the English idea of govern- 
ment found spontaneous expression. 

Now we do not find in New Netherland any such 
immediate and irrepressible reproduction of the 
free institutions of Holland. One expla- 
nation for this contrast at once suggests between the 

__, . . AT T^ 1 1 English and 

itself. Ihe migration to JNew iLngland the Dutch 


was a migration oi communities already 
organized in England ; the parish, crossing the 
ocean, became the township, and, in its relations to 
the powers above it, assumed a shape essentially 
similar to that which it had maintained in the old 
country. The most fundamental fact in the case 
was that government by the primary assembly had 
not lost its vitality in rural England. What did 
not cross the ocean at that time, but was at a 
later period made the subject of conscious imita- 
tion, was the nrban form of representative govern- 
ment, with the mayor at its head. Now the Dutch 
migration to New Netherland was not a migration 
of churches but of individuals. It brought with it 
no preexisting organization. The resulting commu- 
nity was for a long time a fortuitous aggregation 
of traders, more at home on a ship's deck than in 
the farmyard, and without that abiding interest 
in creating and sustaining homes which an agricul- 
tural community feels. 

This shifting mercantile community was gov- 
erned by a commercial company whose prime inter- 
est in it was to make large dividends for its stock- 
holders. The Director General was the salaried 
servant of the Company, and felt responsible to the 


Company rather than to the people whose affairs 
Government ^^^ administered. An honest officer, like 
nfe?cfaT"' Stuj^vesant, never forgot that his first duty 
company. ^^^^ ^^ ^^ things according to the Com- 
pany's wishes, and he sometimes confessed, with a 
sigh, that he would be glad if it were consistent 
with duty to be more agreeable to people. A man 
of doubtful character, like Kieft, had little or 
nothing to restrain him from pursuing his own 
selfish ends a.t the exjDcnse of the people and in 
the name of the Company. In this rule, then, of 
a great commercial corporation, we see a grave 
obstacle to the ready transference of Dutch free- 
dom from the Old to the New Netherland. We 
understand why the Nine Men in 1649 begged the 
home government to oust the Company and govern 
Dutchmen in America on the same principles as in 
Europe. We observe that sooner or later the same 
kind of petition was apt to go forth from English 
colonies under the government of proprietaries, as 
in the case of the Carolinas and Georgia. And 
perhaps we may feel like concluding that the prin- 
cipal cause of the difference between New Nether- 
land and New England was the rule of the West 
India Company. 

But the example of Virginia shows that such 
an explanation does not quite cover the ground. 
During the first seventeen years of its existence 
Virginia was governed by a great commercial cor- 
poration ; during the first eleven years its popula- 
tion was quite as nondescript as that upon the 
island of Manhattan ; and among its early rulers 
the unscrupulous Argall and the honest Dale were 



quite as despotic as Kieft and Stuyvesant, and far 
more harsh. Yet while New Netherland had to 
struggle so long, and with meagre success, 

„ ,„ , ^y. . . ■ •, • Spontaneous 

lor sell-government, Virginia got it m reproduc- 

• 1 c 1 1 ' rrn tiveness of 

lull measure simply tor the askino^. ihe English 
creation of a House of Burgesses in 1619 
was as remarkable an instance of the reproductive- 
ness of English institutions as anything that can 
be cited from New England. It was the work of 
two illustrious members of the Virginia Company, 
Sir Edwin Sandys and the Earl of Southampton, 
far-sighted statesmen who did not need to be told 
that a self-supporting English colony should be 
governed on the same principles that had made 
England great. It was easy to make this House 
of Burgesses because its constituencies, the par- 
ishes, had already sprung up spontaneously in Vir- 
ginia. It immediately asserted the principle that 
no power save itself could lay taxes upon Virgin- 
ians, and as early as 1635 we find it deposing an 
unpopular governor and sending him back to Eng- 
land. Thus in spite of the fact that Virginia, like 
New Netherland, started under the rule of a com- 
mercial company, there can be no doubt that Eng- 
lish liberties flourished in Virginia as notably as 
Dutch liberties languished in New Netherland. The 
example of Maryland is similarly instructive. In 
1632 the need for a representative assembly in an 
English colony was recognized by making express 
provision for one in Lord Baltimore's charter. 
The growth of parishes, manors, and hundreds in 
Maryland is a further illustration of the spontane- 
ous reproductiveness of English free institutions. 


If we go to the bottom of the question, I think 
we shall see that the framework of political liberty 

on a national scale had never been so thor- 
betweenin- oughlj Organized in the Netherlands as 
continental in England. In some points the Dutch 

of the seventeenth century were still 
struggling with ideas which the English had mas- 
tered in the thirteenth and fourteenth. This was 
because the continental people of the Netherlands 
had been exposed to vicissitudes from which their 
insular cousins had been free. There was always 
the risk of a set-back from such a catastrophe as 
Roosebeke, or horrors like those of Liege and Di- 
nant. Meanwhile Netherlandish liberty was won 
chiefly by walled cities, by guilds of craftsmen and 
traders. It was not uniformly diffused through 
the rural and urban populations, as in England. 
The Netherlands had never seen anything like the 
rising of the barons under Henry III. The burgo- 
master and the country squire had never learned 
to cooperate with each other as freely and natu- 
rally as in that House of Commons where the 
county magistrate, heir to a dukedom, sat side by 
side with the weaver and the locksmith. The form 
which the Dutch political constitution should as- 
sume on a national scale was not yet fully de- 
termined. For rural organization in the Dutch 
colony, the Dutch mind had reached only the 
patroonship ; for urban organization the burghers 
asked for that with which they were familiar, a 
representative municipal government. The uses 
and powers of the primary assembly no longer 
retained their vitality, as in England. 


When Mr. Douglas Campbell, in tlie midst of 
his asseverations that American free institutions 
are derived almost entirely from Holland and 
scarcely at all from England, comes to the point 
where such contrasts as the above need to be taken 
into consideration, he turns away his head and 
assures us that at least we learned from Holland 
the practice of recording deeds and mortgages! 

Resuming our narrative where it was broken 
off at the close of the preceding chapter, we may 
note that Van der Donck's mission to the Hague 
achieved some of the results contemplated, albeit 
slowly and in spite of desperate opposition. The 
States General did not feel able to take over to 
themselves the government of New Netherland, for 
the interests enlisted in behalf of the West India 
Company were too powerful to be overridden. So 
the first article of the Nine Men's peti- rphe com- 
tion was not granted. As to the second Eraen-^ 
article, the States General were willing ^'^^^' 
that New Amsterdam should have a municipal gov- 
ernment, with a schout, two burgomasters, and five 
schepens, and they recommended to the Company 
various wholesome measures, at the same time re- 
solving that Stuy vesant should again be summoned 
to the Hague to give an account of his conduct. 
As to the third article, there was no serious objec- 
tion to a commission for settling boundaries. The 
chief discussion was over the second article. The 
Company was opposed to the States General in 
every particular, denied the need for any reforms 
at New Amsterdam, sneered at the Nine Men, and 


upheld Stiiyvesant in everything. This encouraged 
him to go on with his arbitrary ways. He began 
by insulting the Nine Men. The consistory of 
the church had assigned them a certain pew for 
their sole use ; Stuyvesant forbade their using it. 
Then he stigmatized them in public as promoters 
of " schisms, factions, and intestine commotions." 
Finally a brilliant idea came to him ; when a 
vacancy occurred in the board he refused to allow 
it to be filled, and by this ingenious method the 
obnoxious body was practically dissolved. But 
before such a consummation was reached, the Nine 
Men again appealed to the States General. At 
last, in 1653, the opposition gave way, and New 
Amsterdam was incorporated as a city. Its popu- 
lation had reached something like the number of 
800 souls. It was declared with a flourish that 
the municipal government was to be as nearly as 
possible like that of the mother-city Amsterdam ; 
incorpora- ^^^* *^^^ Couipauy's idcas of possibility 
Amster^^"^ wcrc evidently quite limited, for Stuyve- 
^^™" sant retained in his own hands the ap- 

pointment of sellout, burgomasters, and schepens, 
and insisted that he had still the right in his own 
person to make ordinances or to publish interdicts 
binding upon the city of New Amsterdam. The 
ordinary meetings of the city government were 
held on Monday mornings in the City Tavern 
which Kief t had built on Pearl Street ; the build- 
ing was thereafter known as the Stadt Huys, or 
City Hall. There the burgomasters and schepens 
at nine o'clock opened their sessions with prayer, 
and then proceeded to civic business. Stuyvesant 


often sat in the room and stamped on the floor 
with his wooden leg when things were not going as 
he wished. 

This year 1653 may be cited as marking a new 
era for the Dutch province. Down to this time 
its progress in numbers and wealth had been slow 
and precarious. Looking back to the arrival of 
Henry Hudson in 1609, we can seem to distinguish 
five successive phases of colonial life : 1. The 
period of occasional visits of fur traders, 
from 1610 to 1614 ; 2. The period of un- of colonial 


organized and desultory effort under the 
New Netherland Company's monopoly, from 1614 
to 1623 ; 3. The first experiments of the West 
India Company, under May, Yerhulst, Minuit, 
and Van Twiller, from 1623 to 1638, including 
the establishment of patroonships ; 4. The admin- 
istration of Kieft, from 1638 to 1647, beginning 
with the attempt to attract colonists by throwing 
down all monopolies, and ending with the exhaus- 
tion consequent upon a great Indian war ; 5. The 
first six years of Stuyvesant, during which the 
province was rapidly recovering from this loss of 

This rapid recovery was in j)art the tardy effect 
of the wholesome liberal measures of 1638. Colo- 
nists were beginning to come during Kieft's ad- 
ministration in much greater numbers than before, 
and had it not been for the Indian war Recovery of 
the population would surely have shown ^^^ength. 
an increase. In point of fact it diminished. But 
in 1649 the mission of Van der Donck to the 
Hague gave a more decided impulse to colonization 


than anytliing that had haj^pened before. The 
long and animated discussion in the States General, 
and the personal eminence of Van der Donck, who 
was an advocate in the Supreme Court of Holland 
and a Doctor of Laws in the University of Leyden, 
created an interest in America hitherto unknown. 
In 1653 Van der Donck published his " Descrip- 
tion of New Netherland," which was very widely 
read, — an excellent book for whatever had come 
within the author's direct knowledge, but often 
uncritical in what he gives us from hearsay. To 
the fresh interest in New Netherland thus excited 
on the continent of Europe, there was added the 
knowledge that the traditional Dutch policy of 
religious toleration had been consistently carried 
out by Director Kieft. Of this there were several 
conspicuous instances, some of which I mentioned 
in a former chapter. 

It was thus that many men of many creeds and 
tongues were drawn to New Amsterdam. During 
Influx of Stuy vesant's rule there was a great influx 
secta. q£ Waldenses from Piedmont and of 

Huguenots from France, and besides these there 
were Scotch Presbyterians, English Independents, 
Moravians, Anabaptists, and Jews. In 1655 you 
might have gone from the Penobscot all the way 
to Harlem Kiver without meeting any other civil- 
ized language than English, but in crossing the 
island of Manhattan, you might have heard a dozen 
or fifteen European languages spoken. At that 
early stage the* place had already begun to exhibit 
the cosmopolitan character which has ever since 
distinguished it. The increase of population con- 



sequent upon such a general migration was remark- 
able. In 1653 the population of New Netherland 
was about 2000, including the 800 in the city. By 
1664 the total population was nearly 10,000, of 
which about 1600 were in the city. Thus while 
the population of Manhattan doubled in those 
eleven years, that of the whole province increased 
fivefold. Farmers had come, at last, and rural 
settlements had greatly expanded on Long Island 
and Staten Island, and on both shores of the Hud- 
son, while the remotest northern frontier was 
pushed out from Beverwyck to Schenectady. The 
universal tolerance which made New Amsterdam 
so cosmopolitan was simply the traditional Nether- 
landish custom. It was not prescribed by the Com- 
pany ; on the contrary, one of the Company's rules 
forbade the setting up of any church except the 
Calvinistic Dutch Reformed. At first this restric- 
tion made no trouble. For several years there was 
no regular clergyman except Dominie Bogardus, 
and not enough people to make it worth while to 
establish other churches, while the general spirit 
was charitable and tolerant. But with the whole- 
sale influx of sects under Stuyvesant, a change was 
witnessed and attempts were made to inaugurate 
a persecuting policy. In this particular either 
Stuyvesant was less intelligent than Kieft or else 
his sense of duty to the Company was greater ; 
and moreover the pastor at New Amsterdam, the 
most influential clergyman in the colony. Dominie 
Megapolensis, was something of a heresy hunter. 
By 1656 there were quite a number of Swedish 
and German Lutherans in New Amsterdam, who 


instead of going to clinrcli to listen to Megapolensis 

preferred to hold conventicles in private houses. 

They petitioned the Company for leave 

Lutherans. '^ ^ . 

to set up a Lutheran church, with a pas- 
tor of their own, but the permission was refused. 
Stuyvesant imprisoned several persons for attend- 
ing private meetings, but for this he was censured 
by the States General. In 1657, when Kev. 
Ernestus Goetwater arrived at Manhattan, with a 
commission from Amsterdam to act as pastor for 
the Lutherans, Dominie Megapolensis had him 
arrested and sent back to Holland. 

The heavy hand of the law was also laid upon a 
few humble Baptists at Flushing. William Hal- 
lett, the sheriff, had the audacity to hold conven- 
ticles in his own house, and there " to permit one 
William Wickendam to explain and comment on 
God's Holy Word, and to administer sacraments, 
though not called thereto by any civil or clerical 
authority." For this heinous offence 
Hallett was removed from office and fined 
500 guilders ; while Wickendam, " who maintained 
that he was commissioned by Christ and dipped 
people in the river," was fined 1000 guilders and 
ordered to quit the country. On inquiry it ap- 
peared that he was " a poor cobbler from Rhode 
Island," without a stiver in the world ; so the fine 
was perforce remitted, but the Baptist was not 
allowed to stay in New Netherland. 

The worst sufferers, however, were the Quakers, 
a party of whom, expelled from Boston, landed at 
New Amsterdam in August, 1657. Several were at 
once arrested, but one of them, Bobert Hodshone, 


kept on to Heemstede, on Long Island, where he 
spoke to several persons about the new society of 
Friends and its benevolent aims. While walking 
in an orchard he was seized and taken before a 
local magistrate, Richard Gildersleeve, who locked 
him up and went over to consult with Stuyvesant. 
Presently Gildersleeve returned with a 
squad of soldiers, who took away Hod- shameful 
shone's Bible and papers, tied him to a of Hod- 
cart's tail, and dragged him over a rough 
road to the Brooklyn ferry. On arriving in New 
Amsterdam he was thrown into a filthy cellar 
among vermin and kept there half starved for 
several days. Then he was brought before Stuyve- 
sant and the council, but was not allowed to speak 
in his own defence. He was sentenced to two 
years' hard labour with a wheelbarrow, or else to 
pay 600 guilders. As he had no money, the first 
alternative was imposed upon him. So on a sultry 
August morning the poor Quaker was brought out 
from his dungeon, chained to a wheelbarrow, and 
ordered to load it. He said he had done no evil 
and broken no law, and he would not obey. Then 
he was stripped to the waist, and a stalwart negro 
with a piece of rope beat him until he fell to the 
ground. This was repeated for several days, on 
one of which Hodshone was brought before Stuy- 
vesant, who warned him that the whipping would 
go on until he should submit to his sentence. 
This, he assured the Director, he would never do. 
Then he was kept for two nights and a day with- 
out bread or water, and then hung up to the ceiling 
by his hands while a heavy log of wood was tied 


to liis ankles. In this position lie was cruelly 
beaten with rods. As he remained obdurate, the 
same torture was repeated after two days. But 
public sympathy was now aroused for Hodshone. 
An English woman came and bathed his wounds, 
and her husband sought to bribe the schout with a 
fat ox to let him come to his house until he should 
recover. It could not be done, said the schout, 
unless the whole fine were paid. There were 
those who were ready to make up the sum, but the 
Quaker would not allow it ; a principle was at 
stake, and he would rather die. At length Stuy- 
vesant's sister, Mrs. Bayard, a woman of sense and 
spirit, came to her brother and implored and up- 
braided him until in sheer self-defence he was 
obliged to set the prisoner free. 

This outrageous treatment of Hodshone was 
condemned by public sentiment. We do not 
know what was said, but we may infer its tone 
from what happened a fortnight later at Flushing. 
One Henry Townsend, an upright and respected 
citizen, had some Quaker meetings in his house. 
He was fined eight pounds Flemish, or was else to 
be flogged and banished. The town officers of 
Flushing doggedly refused to enforce the sentence ; 
and they set their names to a magnificent protest, 
in which they say : " The law of love, 

Protest of T Ti T . 1 

the men of pcacc, and liberty, extending in the state 
to Jews, Turks, and Egyptians, forms 
the true glory of Holland ; so love, peace, and lib- 
erty, extending to all in Christ Jesus, condemn 
hatred, strife, and bondage. But inasmuch as the 
Saviour hath said that it is impossible that scandal 


shall not come, but woe unto liim by whom it 
Cometh, we desire not to offend one of His little 
ones, under whatever form, name, or title he ap- 
pear, whether Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist, 
or Quaker. . . . Should any of these people come 
in love among us, therefore, we cannot in con- 
science lay violent hands on them. We shall give 
them free ingress and egress to our houses, as God 
shall persuade our consciences." In so doing, they 
said, they were convinced that they were conform- 
ing to the law of God, to the spirit of their char- 
ter, and to the wishes of the States General.^ 

The names of thirty-one valiant men are signed 
to this document. I do not know whether Flush- 
ing has ever raised a fitting monument to their 
memory. If I could have my way I would have 
the protest carved on a stately obelisk, with the 
name of Edward Hart, town clerk, and the thirty 
other Dutch and English names appended, and 
would have it set up where all might ^he giory of 
read it for the glory of the town that had ^i^^^^^^s- 
such men for its founders. From Director Stuyve- 
sant it brought them persecution. The town clerk 
was kept three weeks in jail ; the two justices of 
the peace were suspended from office, the sheriff 
was cashiered and condemned to pay 200 guilders 
and costs, or, in case of refusal, to be banished 
from New Netherland, and various penalties were 
inflicted upon some of the other signers. 

We sometimes hear the tolerant policy of New 
Netherland commended in loose general terms 
which seem to imply that the record of that colony 

1 O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland, ii. 350. 


is unstained by acts of persecution. Unfortu- 
nately that is not tlie case. Quite a number of 
instances of persecution migiit be added to those 
which I have cited. But they were certainly ex- 
ceptional cases, condemned by public opinon, and 
wholly at variance with Dutch policy. They re- 
dound to the discredit not of New Netherland, but 
of Stuyvesant. Had there been any effective con- 
stitutional method of restraining the Director's 
arbitrary will, they would not have occurred ; and 
therefore we cannot hold the people of New Neth- 
erland responsible to such an extent as we hold 
the people of Massachusetts responsible for the 
hansfino- of Quakers on Boston Common. 

stuyvesant * r o 

rebuked by As lor otuvvesaut, iiis violcut zcal car- 

the Amster- . nni 

dam Cham- ricd him too far. There were narrow- 


minded men in the Amsterdam Chamber 
who did not favour the setting up of Lutheran or 
Baptist churches; but when it came to active per- 
secution, the condemnation was unanimous; and a 
sharp rebuke was sent across the ocean to the over- 
zealous Director. Thus ended the letter of censure 
from the Amsterdam Chamber : " The consciences 
of men ought to be free and unshackled, so long 
as they continue moderate, peaceable, inoffensive, 
and not hostile to government. Such have been 
the maxims of prudence and toleration by which 
the magistrates of this city have been governed ; 
and the consequences have been, that the oppressed 
and persecuted from every country have found 
among us an asylum from distress. Follow in the 
same steps, and you will be blest." 

The refined and courteous tone of this repri- 


mand took nothing from its severity. Stuyvesant 
interfered no further with liberty of conscience. 
The case illustrates a tendency of his to err 
through excess of zeal, which made him sometimes 
a trial to the patience of his employers. It was 
more than once decided to recall him to Holland, 
but the decision was as often reconsidered. The 
points in his favour were his absolute integrity 
and loyalty, his executive ability, and the general 
confidence in his military capacity. The time was 
one when such a public officer could not well be 
spared. New Netherland was beset with rivals 
and enemies. Something must be said of the col- 
ony of New Sweden and of the rupture between 
Holland and England which had such momentous 
consequences in America. 

It will be remembered that the original pro- 
jector of the Dutch West India Company was the 
exiled Antwerp merchant, William Usselincx. 
After the incorporation of that company, in 1623, 
Usselincx visited Sweden and submitted a similar 
project to the consideration of Gustavus Adolphus. 
It was hoped that Gustavus would soon take part 
in the great war that was raging, which we now 
remember as the Thirty Years' War. Usselincx 
wished to see the Spaniards driven from 
the Flemish Netherlands, and an impor- New 

11* 1 ' ^ ^ 1 Sweden. 

tant step toward this desirable end was 
to add to the number of Spain's enemies on the 
ocean. In 1624 Gustavus issued a manifesto for 
the establishment of a trading association to be 
known as the Australian Company, with extensive 
privileges of traf&c with Asia, Africa, and Amer- 


ica. If Swedish colonies could be established any- 
where on the American coast, it would be well. 
There was plenty of room for them, and they 
might prove to be safe places of retreat for politi- 
cal and religious refugees. The scheme met with 
much favour, and the subscription list, headed by 
the king, contained the names of many of the 
nobility and clergy, with some of the most enter- 
prising merchants and craftsmen. But the war in 
Germaijy absorbed so much attention that nothing 
was done until 1635, after the death of Gustavus. 
Then the Chancellor Oxenstjerna formed a specific 
scheme for planting a colony in America under 
the auspices of this corporation, which had now 
come to be known as the South Company. 

The person selected to conduct the expedition 
was none other than Peter Minuit, who had for- 
merly been Director General of New Netherland 
and had reason to feel that his dismissal 

Peter Minuit . T^r»oo 

and the was undcservcd and uniust. in Ibdo 

Swedes on ti/t'-i iii» i* 

the Deia- Mmuit landed his colonists on the west 

ware River. f-r^,i -m 

shore of Delaware Bay, and bought oi 
the natives a tract of land on and about the pre- 
sent sites of Newcastle and Wilmington, stretching 
northward as far as the Schuylkill and westward 
as far as circumstances might determine. This 
region he called New Sweden, and built a block- 
house to guard it, which he called after the queen. 
Fort Christina. He sent a sloop to Jamestown 
for a cargo of tobacco, and while she waited at 
anchor in James River the treasurer of Virginia 
wrote to England for permission to oust these 
Swedes from the Delaware, which he described as 


the boundary between Virginia and New England. 
Protests were soon heard also from Lord Balti- 
more's colony. When the Swedish sloop went up 
the Delaware River she was challenged by the 
Dutch commander at Fort Nassau, and presently a 
notice came from Director Kieft, warning Minuit 
that he had better go away. But Minuit paid no 
heed to protests or threats. He worked away at 
his fort until everything was quite secure and com- 
fortable, left it abundantly stocked with food and 
ammunition, and started home for reinforcements. 
While stopping at the island of St. Christopher 
in the West Indies, the worthy Minuit perished 
in a hurricane, but his ships returned safely to 

Now in spite of Kieft' s warning, the Swedes 
well knew that the Dutch would be extremely un- 
willing to enter into hostilities against them. The 
Thirty Years' War was still raging. The Swedish 
generals, Baner and Torstenson, able pupils of 
Gustavus, were inflicting heavy defeats upon the 
Imperialists ; and the sympathies of Holland were 
with Sweden. She did not wish to interfere with 
such good work. Accordingly, when a 
richly laden Swedish vessel was arrested of New 
at Enckhuysen for illegally trading within 
the West India Company's American dominions, 
and when the Swedish minister at the Hague 
demanded her release, she was at once set free in 
the most courteous and obliging manner. For 
these reasons the little Swedish colony at Fort 
Christina was unmolested, and in 1640, along with 
a new governor, Peter HoUender, it received con- 


siderable accessions. The DLitcli were more hos- 
pitable to the Swedes in this neighbourhood than 
to the English. The good people of the New 
Haven colony seem always to have found some- 
thing attractive in the shores to the south of 
Sandy Hook. In 1641 they made a settlement 
near Salem, on the Jersey side of the Delaware 
River, and another on the Schuylkill, and declared 
that these settlements formed a part of the repub- 
lic of New Haven. But in 1642 Kieft sent a 
couple of slooj)s with a small force of soldiers who 
arrested all the English in these two settlements, 
and carried them to Fort Amsterdam, whence they 
were sent back to New Haven. In the work of 
arresting them, a party of Swedes assisted. No 
blood was shed, but the English complained that 
they had suffered damages to the amount of £1000 

In that same summer Queen Christina sent out 
John Printz, who had been a lieutenant of cavalry, 
to be governor of New Sweden, and she guaran- 
teed military protection to the colony. Printz was 
instructed to maintain as pleasant relations with 
both Dutch and English as might be consistent 
with not allowing either of them to encroach a foot 
upon his territory. Within its limits nobody was 
to be permitted to trade in peltries except the 
agents of the Swedish Company. The Lutheran 
was to be the established church, but the 
Dutch Reformed Church was to be toler- 
ated. Early in 1643 the new governor arrived at 
Fort Christina, accompanied by the pastor and 
historian, John Campanius, and two shiploads of 


settlers. Printz built on Tinicum Island, on tlie 
west shore, about twelve miles below the site of 
Philadelphia, a fortress of heavy logs, which he 
called New Gottenburg. Between here and Fort 
Christina many farms were planted. Opposite 
New Gottenburg, on the east shore whence the 
New Haven people had lately been driven, Printz 
built a triangular fort which he called Elsingburg 
and armed it with eight cannon. Now the Dutch 
Fort Nassau was a few miles higher up the river, 
and these twin fortresses. New Gottenburg and 
Elsingburg, watched over the approach to it like 
Bunyan's lions before Palace Beautiful. Every 
ship coming up must strike her colours and wait 
for Governor Printz's permission to pass on. The 
first person to arrive upon the scene was our old 
friend David De Vries, the genial mari- ^ ^^^^^ 
ner and colonist, the racy and charming ^^^'^i^^- 
chronicler. He was coming up the river in a 
Rotterdam ship when the challenge came from 
Elsingburg, and the skipper asked him i£ he had 
not better lower his flag. " Well," said De Vries, 
" if it were my ship I should n't lower to these 
intruders ; " but the skipper's view of the case was 
" anything for a quiet life," and he hauled down 
his colours. Then an officer came aboard, and 
they passed on to New Gottenburg, where they 
were cordially welcomed by Governor Printz, " a 
brave man of brave size," says De Vries, " for 
he weighed more than 400 pounds." Printz was 
delighted at meeting a man of whom he had heard 
so much, and the fate of whose colony at Swandale 
had aroused such wide interest. He produced a 


colossal jug of Rlienisli wine, and tlie evening was 
passed in friendly discourse. 

For a dozen years more the colony of New 
Sweden was suffered to exist, and the altercations 
wliicli from time to time arose stopped short of 
warfare. But in Stuyvesant's time, after the 
peace of Miinster, Holland had no longer the 
same reasons for wishing to keep from interfer- 
FaiiofNew Gucc witli Swedcu. Morcovcr, Queen 
Sweden. Qhristiua was dead, and her successor, 
Charles X., was absorbed in that mighty war with 
Poland which forms the theme of Sienkiewicz's 
brilliant novel " The Deluge." It was the golden 
opportunity for New Netherland, and Stuyvesant 
seized it in the summer of 1655. With a force of 
seven warships and 700 soldiers he swooped into 
Delaware Bay and up the river ; and there was 
nothing for New Sweden, whose total population 
was barely 500 souls, to do but surrender. The 
settlers were not interfered with, but only changed 
their allegiance. 

The time was coming when a precisely similar 
fate was to overtake Peter Stuyvesant and New 
Netherland. The relations between the Dutch 
and British governments were suddenly altered, 
and into the causes and consequences of this 
change we shall inquire in the next chapter. 



The year 1651 was an important date in Eng- 
lish history. The passage of the Navigation Act 
in that year marked the beginning of a commercial 
policy which soon led to disturbances in Massa- 
chusetts and Virginia, and in the end played a 
considerable part among the causes of the separa- 
tion of the American colonies from the mother 
country. It also marked a sudden and change in 
violent change in the relations between beuveen"''"^ 
the English and the Dutch. From time Se^SS-^ 
immemorial there had been unbroken ^^"'^^" 
friendship between the two peoples, and for three 
centuries the intimacy had been extremely close. 
In 1584, after the assassination of William the 
Silent, the people of the Netherlands sent to Eliz- 
abeth of England a formal invitation to become 
their sovereign ; but this honour she declined, 
while she actively intervened in their behalf and 
sent an army across the Channel to aid them. 
Now in 1651, after the premature death of Wil- 
liam's grandson, William II., a similar proposal to 
unite the two countries under one government was 
made by the English and refused by the Dutch. 
Let us observe how peculiarly the two countries 
were then situated with reference to each other. 


The treaty of Miinster, in 1G48, had at last and 
forever rid the Dutch of the incubus of Spain. 
The United Netherlands ranked as the wealthiest 
nation in the world, with by far the largest mer- 
chant marine, and a navy which was rivalled only 
by that of England. The seven states were united 
in a loose confederation somewhat like that of the 
American States between 1776 and 1789. Their 
States General, assembled at the Hague, had more 
the character of a diplomatic body than of a sover- 
eign legislature ; it was more a congress than a 
parliament. State rights flourished at the expense 
of national unity and strength, but there was a 
party that dreaded too much national unity, very 
much as it was dreaded in America by 
of the Neth- Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams. The 
States General constituted but one cham- 
ber, but there was another body which discharged 
many of the functions of an upper house and 
which represented the nation at large. This was 
the Council of State, consisting of 18 men, who 
were obliged to forswear allegiance to their own 
states and to take an oath of allegiance to the 
United Netherlands. The principal executive offi- 
cer was the stadliolder^ a word which is commonly 
misspelled with a t after the first c/, because it 
looks as if it meant " town-holder," or perhaps 
" state-holder." In reality it means " stead-holder," 
a substitute or deputy. It is exactly translated by 
" lieutenant." The stadholder was in the old days 
the sovereign's lieutenant, and there was one in 
each of the provinces, the chief executive magis- 
trate and commander of the army. In 1555 the 


Emperor Charles V. appointed William, Prince of 
Orange, his staclhokler for Holland and Zealand, 
and after the rebellion had broken out those states 
and others continued him in his place by elec- 
tion and under the old title. His two illustrious 
sons, Maurice and Frederick, succeeded him by 
election, and there was visible the usual tendency 
for an elective life-magistracy to lapse into heredi- 
tary monarchy. The great personal qualities of 
these men and their incomparable services to their 
country made this tendency very strong. William 
the Silent might have been king had he been will- 
ing to accept such a dignity. There was nothing 
too good for the House of Orange ; such was the 
feeling in most of the states, but it was by no 
means universal. There were those who dreaded 
the tendency toward monarchy, and this Repub- 
lican party was strongest in the state or province 
of Holland, which contained most of the large 
cities, and in population and wealth outweighed 
the other six provinces together. This party had 
once been represented by Olden Barneveld ; its 
present leader, just coming to the front, was John 
De Witt ; it had grown in strength since the peace 
of 1648 made it no longer necessary to smite the 
Spaniard ; and it sympathized warmly with the 
Roundhead party in England. 

On the other hand, there was at this moment 
strong sympathy between the House of Orange 
and the House of Stuart. The great stadholder 
Frederick died in 1647, and was succeeded by his 
son William 11. , then twenty-one years of age. 
In the opinion of De Witt this young prince was 


an abler man than either his father or his uncle. 
Marriage of ^* ^^^^ ^&^ ^^ fifteen he hacl been mar- 
S'Jhe Prhi". ried to Mary, daughter of Charles I., so 
cess Mary, ^j^^^ Y^Q was formally admitted to the fel- 
lowshij) of crowned heads. The son of this mar- 
riage was that William III. under whom for a few 
years at the end of the century England and Hol- 
land were to be united. 

Now the first great event in this young stad- 
holder's administration, the treaty of Miinster, 
was a bitter disappointment to him, as it was to 
his neighbour and ally, Cardinal Mazarin. If the 
war could be continued both hoped to profit by 
the misfortunes of Spain. William II. thirsted 
for military glory, and would have been glad to 
free the Flemish Netherlands from the Spanish 
yoke. The treaty of Miinster was as odious to 
him as the Twelve Years' Truce had been to his 
uncle Maurice. But perhaps it was not irrevo- 
cable. The treaty had been the work of the Re- 
publican party, the burghers of Amsterdam and 
other great cities, the extreme advocates of state 
sovereignty. But the Orange party, which stood 
Scheme of ^^^^ Dutch national unity, and which had 

William II. 



^^^^ a majority in all the states except Hol- 

land, would be glad to see the intermin- 
able war renewed. Accordingly Mazarin made 
secret overtures to the States General in the hope 
of inducing them to cancel the treaty, and Wil- 
liam entered into a compact with Mazarin, some 
features of which have not been known until re- 
cently, while other aspects of it were correctly 
inferred at the time from the general situation. 


On the whole, it was a very ambitious programme. 
The combined armies of France and Holland were 
to set free the Flemish Netherlands, and also to 
interfere in England in behalf of Charles II. 
When this scheme was devised, in October, 1650, 
the battle of Dunbar had just been fought, and 
one is inclined to wonder how it would have fared 
with young William of Orange and his cousin, 
Marshal Turenne, if they had succeeded in land- 
ing an army in England, and had come into colli- 
sion with the mighty Oliver. 

But scarcely had the compact been made when 
the young prince suddenly died, and the Orange 
party in the Netherlands instantly became pow- 
erless. Within a week after William's j^^^^-^ ^f 
death the babe was born who was to be- ^^^^'^"^ ^^• 
come illustrious as William III. Until this child 
should grow up there was nobody to represent the 
monarchical principle that held the party together. 
A long minority is a misfortune to an established 
monarchy ; it is likely to be fatal when the mon- 
archy is only a matter of aspiration. The Repub- 
lican ascendency now became pronounced. No- 
body was elected to the stadholdership, but the 
office was held in abeyance for more than twenty 
years, while John De Witt, as Grand Pensionary 
or president of the States General, was virtually 
chief magistrate of the Netherlands. The Dutch 
Republic now proceeded to recognize the Eng- 
lish Commonwealth, and two ambassadors, Walter 
Strickland and Oliver St. John, were sent by Par- 
liament to the Hague, to negotiate a league of 
perpetual friendship between the two nations. 


What was i3roposed was a kind of federal union un- 
Proposed <^^er a council of Englishmen and Dutch- 
wnEng- i^^en, which was to hold its meetings in 
the^NSher- Loudou. To many persons such a union 
lands. seemed much more natural than the 

union of England and Scotland under a single 
sovereign. The relations between English and 
Scotch had for centuries been hostile, while those 
between English and Dutch had been friendly. 
It was important for civilization that the alliance 
between two great liberal and Protestant j^owers 
should be made perpetual. 

Matters, however, were not well managed. St. 
John and Strickland insisted as a preliminary that 
all English fugitive royalists should be expelled 
from the Netherlands, but the Dutch policy was 
to make their own country an asylum for political 
fugitives, and they could not be persuaded to break, 
this rule. Now James, Duke of York, and his 
Failure of sistcr tlic PHuccss Royal were then tar- 
the proposal, j-yiug at the Hague, and almost daily 
they drove slowly past the ambassadors' house, 
staring and pointing at it in an insulting fashion, 
while a rabble would gather and hoot at the nation 
which had sacrilegiously beheaded the royal grand- 
sire of the baby Prince of Orange. The ambas- 
sadors were further warned that royalist fanatics 
at Rotterdam were planning to murder them. So 
after six months they returned to London with 
nothing to show for their mission. 

There was a circumstance which tended to alien- 
ate the English and Dutch nations in spite of the 
many ties of friendship between them. This was 


their keen commercial rivalry. Now that the 
common enemy, Spain, was out of the way, this 
rivalry became a predominant motive, and even 
while the discussion with St. John and Strickland 
was going on, the States General concluded a 
treaty with Denmark concerning the customs of 
the Sound, which was calculated to work mischief 
to the Enp^lish. The shores of the Baltic _ 

° The Naviga- 

Sea were a great storehouse for naval tionAct. 
materials, and this treaty hindered England's ac- 
cess to them. In revenge the Long Parliament 
passed the Navigation Act, which turned out to be 
the first nail in the coffin of Dutch maritime su- 
premacy. Before 1651 three fourths of England's 
carrying trade had been done in Dutch vessels by 
Dutch skippers. 

As an immediate consequence of the Navigation 
Act, the two nations, instead of embracing, came 
to blows, and the English Channel saw Resulting 
some of the hottest sea fighting that the EiTsiancTand 
world has ever known. Equal heroism Holland. 
and skill were shown by the two sides ; Monk and 
Blake were fairly matched against Tromp and De 
Ruyter. One marvels at such splendid fighting, 
and wishes it had been done in some worthy cause, 
and not in this wicked fratricidal quarrel. One 
fact was elicited by the fighting. The English 
had been improving the build of their warships, 
increasing the weight and strength without losing 
in agility, and the war revealed their superiority. 
The Dutch merchant shipping suffered so severely 
that in 1654 they were anxious for peace, and 
Cromwell, who had lately turned out the Long 


Parliament, and had sorely grieved over such a 
war between the two Protestant powers, was glad 
to make peace. He insisted upon the permanent 
exclusion of the baby Prince of Orange from the 
stadholdership, and the state of Holland, in sub- 
mitting to such dictation, prevailed over the other 
six states. 

On the restoration of the Stuart monarchy the 
Dutch instantly repealed this exclusion clause. 
Second Cliarlcs II. had of course no objection 

Dutch war. ^^ ^j^'g^ rpj^^ sccoud War with Holland, 
which began in 1664 with the capture of New 
Amsterdam, and ended in 1667 with the treaty of 
Breda, was purely a quarrel between commercial 
rivals. In the course of it Dutch warships actu- 
ally entered the Med way and the Thames, but the 
terms of peace left the English in possession of 
New York. 

The third Dutch war, which began in 1672 and 
ended in 1674, was different from the others. It 
Third Dutch niarked the beginning of that period of 
^^^- infamy when Charles II. became the 

paid tool of Louis XIY. in his great assault upon 
political liberty. Then came the Dutch frenzy, 
the cruel murder of De Witt and his brother, the 
election of William III. to the stadholdership, 
and the magnificent resistance in which Holland 
defied the united forces of Louis and Charles. 

This period of shame for England ended with 
the expulsion of James II. and the union of the 
English and Dutch nations for thirteen years 
under the masterful leadership of the third Wil- 
liam of Orange. We must now turn our attention 


to New Netherland, and see how it was affected by 
the course of events in the Old World. 

Bickerings between the Dutch and English com- 
munities in America continued to go on in Stuy- 
vesant's time as in the times of Van T wilier and 
Kieft. Upon the breaking up of the Council for 
New England in 1635, Charles I. granted Long 
Island to William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, 
who was secretary of state for Scotland. Q^ant of 
The attempts of his agents to take pos- ^ ZomS- 
session of the island were always resisted ^"^^' 
by the Dutch, although, as we have seen, many 
English people settled there. Shortly after Stu}^- 
vesant's arrival in New Amsterdam a strange vis- 
itor from Scotland called upon him. His name 
was Andrew Forrester, of Dundee, and he had 
been sent out by Lord Stirling's widow to take 
possession of Long Island. He would fain inspect 
the Dutch Director's commission ; if it should turn 
out to be a better document than his own power of 
attorney from Lady Stirling, he would give way to 
Stuyvesant ; otherwise Stuyvesant must give way 
to him. In the Director's bosom for a moment 
amusement may well have contended with indigna- 
tion for the mastery. He lost no time in putting 
the bold Scotchman on board a ship bound for 
Holland, but the ship happened to stop at an Eng- 
lish port and her prisoner escaped. 

At about the same time. Van Tienhoven, the 
secretary of New Netherland, happened to go to 
New Haven, and there in the harbour he found a 
Dutch ship, the San Benin io, which had been 


quietly riding at anclior for several weeks, doing a 
brisk trade witli the Engiisli, in total defiance of 
the rules which required a license from the West 
India Company. The owners of the cargo re- 
quested a license from New Amsterdam, promising 

to pay the customary exorbitant duties. 
the San Ou liis rctum to Manhattan the secretary 

obtained the license and sent it to New 
Haven. A fortnight later one of the owners, 
Mynheer Samuel Goedenhuyzen, made his appear- 
ance at Manhattan, but as to paying duties or even 
showing his invoices, gave no sign. When, there- 
fore, he let fall the imprudent remark that the San 
Beninio was about ready to sail for Virginia, it 
was not unnaturally inferred that he was meditat- 
ing a fraud upon the Company. It was now the 
Director's opportunity to show the long reach of 
his arm. He had recently sold one of the Com- 
pany's ships to Stephen Goodyear, the deputy 
governor of New Haven, and had agreed to deliver 
her at that port. In this vessel Stuyvesant now 
embarked a military force under Captain Paul van 
der Grist, with orders to seize the San Beninio in 
New Haven harbour and bring her to Manhattan. 
It was a venturesome deed, as the San Beninio 
mounted ten guns, but it was most neatly and suc- 
cessfully done. On a Sunday morning in October, 
when all the people were in church, — and very 
little truancy on such occasions was permitted by 
the magistrates of that devout colony, — the Dutch 
captain brought his ship alongside of Master 
Goedenhuyzen's craft, when in a trice he boarded 
her, overpowered her crew, and steered her out 


of the harbour. There was clamour and cursing 
enough to disturb Parson Davenport's sermon, and 
some rushing from the pews to the meeting-house 
door ensued, but it was too late to stop the exult- 
ant Dutchman as he sped away with his prize up 
the Sound before a spanking breeze. On the next 
day the San Beninio was condemned at New Am- 
sterdam and duly confiscated for violating the 
Dutch revenue law; on Tuesday Stuyvesant issued 
a proclamation declaring that New Netherland ex- 
tended from Cape Henlopen to Cape Cod, and 
that duties would be rigorously levied by him upon 
all vessels trading at ports on the Sound. 

His notification of these proceedings to Gov- 
ernor Eaton, of New Haven, was considered by 
that gentleman discourteous ; on the following 
Monday he thus wrote to Stuyvesant : " Sir, by 
your agent, Mr. Goverfc, I received two pages from 
you, the one sealed the other open, but neither of 
them written either in Latin, as your predecessors 
used, or in English, as you yourself have formerly 
done, both to me and to the other colonies ; but 
in Low Dutch, whereof I understand little ; nor 
would your messenger, though desired, interpret 
anything in them, so that part, at least, must 
lie by me till I meet with an interpreter." Gov- 
ernor Eaton knew enough of what had happened, 
however, to bring a heavy indictment against the 
Director for " disturbing the peace between the 
English and Dutch in these parts." He pressed 
the matter so earnestly as to call forth a soothing 
reply from Stuyvesant, who could be made to real- 
ize the imprudence of proceeding to extremities. 


Meanwhile three delinquent servants of the 
West India Company had fled to New Haven, 
where they were arrested and sent to jail. Provi- 
sions for the mutual extradition of fugitives had 
been in force since 1643 between New Netherland 
and the United Colonies of New England, and 
Eaton had accordingly promised to surrender these 
prisoners. But now that Stuyvesant had claimed 
Extradition Sovereignty over New Haven, Eaton was 
01 criminals, unwilling to do anything that malicious 
critics might interpret as obeying the behest of an 
overlord, and therefore he withheld the prisoners 
and took them into the service of the colony. The 
General Court at Boston wrote to Eaton, seeking 
to dissuade him from this course, but he was 
obdurate. Stuyvesant thereupon in retaliation 
proclaimed that " if any person, noble or ignoble, 
freeman or slave, debtor or creditor, yea, to the 
lowest prisoner included, run away from the Col- 
ony of New Haven, or seek refuge in our limits, 
he shall remain free, under our protection, on tak- 
ing the oath of allegiance." This measure was 
generally condemned. The good people of New 
Amsterdam feared it might make their pleasant 
little town a refuge for criminals, and the Com- 
pany deemed it unwise to give needless offence to 
England. Stuyvesant was thus placed in an awk- 
ward position, from which he withdrew himself by 
a sudden stroke of genius. He contrived to con- 
vey to the fugitives in New Haven an assurance 
of full pardon and kind treatment if they would at 
once return to Manhattan. They were prompt to 
avail themselves of this promise from a man whose 


word could be trusted ; and as soon as they had 
safely arrived, the Director was enabled with easy 
grace to annul his rash proclamation. 

The seizure of the San Beninio was but a sin- 
gle incident in a general policy so rigorous as to 
frighten away many skippers who would have been 
glad to trade with Manhattan, and Stuyvesant's 
conduct met with sharp criticism at the firesides of 
the burghers and in the board of Nine Men. His 
unselfish devotion to the interests of the Company 
was a continual source of irritation to the people, 
whose obvious needs sometimes suffered neglect. 
The year 1650 came in with weather so cold that 
" ink froze in the pen," and while Manhattan was 
actually suffering from dearth of food the Director 
obeyed the Company's order to send a supply of 
food away to Cura^oa. By the next August civil 
dudgeon had grown so high that Stuyvesant drove 
out the Nine Men from the pew in church " with 
which they had been honoured by the czarstuy- 
consistory," and caused the seats to be thrNiuT^ 
removed, so that they might not return ^®"' 
to it. As Van Dincklagen, from Melyn's stockaded 
domain on Staten Island, wrote to Van der Donck 
at the Hague : " Our great Muscovy Duke goes 
on as usual, resembling somewhat the wolf ; the 
older he gets the worse he bites." It was but nat- 
ural that the Nine Men, speaking for the people 
of New Amsterdam, should address a memorial 
to the States General, begging for a change of 
government. But, curiously enough, the Director 
found supporters and apologists among the Eng- 
lish settlers on Long Island. The Englishman 


who wielded most political influence at that time 
was George Baxter, of Gravesend, who was Stuy- 
vesant's English secretary of state. The letters 
addressed by the magistrates of Gravesend and 
Heemstede to the Amsterdam Chamber breathe a 
spirit of sycophancy toward the Director.^ They 
express a fervent hope that no change will be 
made; they are deeply convinced of the desirable- 
ness of a strong government; and, in particular, 
they disapprove the suggestion that the people of 
New Netherland should elect their own governor, 
forasmuch as the sure result would be anarchy 
and ruin. Thus did Stuyvesant, the faithful ser- 
vant of the Company, find himself in a singular 
position, defended by his alien subjects while con- 
demned by nine in ten of his own countrymen. 

It was at this time that he visited Hartford and 

enoao'ed in a conference with the Federal Com- 

missioners of New Enoland. As he rode 

Stuyvesant's i i n • i • 

visit to throuo^h the flourishing' townships along^ 

Hartford. f r- i o i t T 

the shore of the Sound, and then pro- 
ceeded up the beautiful valley of the Connecticut, 
he was everywhere greeted with marked courtesy, 
but every mile must have impressed him with the 
utter improbability that the English grasp upon 
that country could ever be shaken. The idea of 
ousting the inhabitants was ridiculous ; and as for 
extending his jurisdiction over them, it would be 
impossible without a much greater force than the 
States General were ever likely to be able to send 
him. Even the two colonies, Connecticut and 
New Haven, would be more than a match for him ; 

■'■ N. Y. Colonial Documents, ii. 154-156. 


but an attack upon either of these would be an 
attack upon the Confederacy, and would at once 
bring Massachusetts and Plymouth into the lists. 
In case of war, while the Netherlands could still 
cope with England on fairly even terms, they were 
not likely to have much spare energy to devote to 
America. Stuyvesant was too much of a soldier 
not to realize the military weakness of his position. 
His claim to the whole coast from Delaware Bay 
to Cape Cod, and his masterful demeanour toward 
his neighbours at New Haven, were fine exhibi- 
tions of bluff. But when he came face to face 
with the commissioners for settling questions of 
jurisdiction that gravely concerned the peace of 
Christendom, he showed his good sense by know- 
ing how to yield. 

At the start, however, Stuyvesant put forth the 
customary bravado. He wrote a statement of his 
case, which he dated at " Hartford in New Neth- 
erland," and in the course of which he took pains 
to twit Connecticut and New Haven with their 
lack of charters by calling them " pretendant 
colonies." But after a few quips and The treaty 
grimaces thus evoked had cleared the gep^^Sf'^'^' 
atmosphere, business went on serenely. ^^^^' 
The Dutch claim promptly receded from Cape 
Cod to Point Judith, but presently the whole ques- 
tion of boundaries was left to a board of four arbi- 
ters. One of those selected by Stuyvesant was 
his own English secretary, George Baxter, already 
mentioned ; why he should have appointed another 
Englishman (Thomas Willet, merchant, of Plym- 
outh) has not been satisfactorily explained. This 


board of arbitration speedily decided that on Long 
Island tbe boundary between the Dutch and Eng- 
lish jurisdictions should run across from Oyster 
Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. On the mainland it 
should start west of Greenwich Bay, four miles 
from Stamford, and thence run northerly, but was 
never to come within ten miles of Henry Hudson's 
river. As for the disputed region near Hartford, 
the Dutch were to have jurisdiction only over such 
lands as were actually in their possession and 
determined by metes and bounds. 

Such was the famous treaty of Hartford, Sep- 
tember 19, 1650, by which Stuyvesant practically 
abandoned all claim to New England territory. 
It astounded the Dutch. "All the arbitrators 
were English," wrote Van der Donck, and " they 
pulled the wool over the Director's eyes." ^ Or, 
as another writer said, " they entertained him like 
a prince" at Hartford, but "he never imagined 
that such hard pills would be given him to digest. 
New England speaks of him in terms of great 
praise, . . . because he hath allowed himself to 
be entrapped by her courtesy."^ When the Di- 
rector heard the decision of the board, he is said 
to have cried out, " I 've been betrayed ; I 've 
been betrayed ! " It is pretty clear, however, 
that he was not so much astonished as other peo- 
ple ; he was simply yielding after his own fashion 
to what he knew was inevitable. On returning to 
New Amsterdam he kept the matter a secret from 
his council, and late in November an indignant 

1 N. Y. Colonial MSS., ii. 458, Holland Bocuments, vi. 

2 Newes from New England, 1650. 


letter from the Nine Men to Van der Donck 
says : " The annexed news from New wrathofthe 
England, which has been brought here ^^o^^^"- 
and thrown into a certain English house, where 
the English themselves laugh at the Director, is, 
we fear, too true, as it is also confirmed by daily 
rumours." It is significant that Stuyvesant, in 
his report to the Company, withheld the text of 
the treaty, and no authoritative copy of it reached 
Holland until 1656, when the States General, by 
ratifying it, plainly indicated their consciousness 
that the concessions made were inevitable. At- 
tempts were made to induce the English govern- 
ment to ratify it, but in vain. England never 
extended to New Netherland the recognition which 
such an act of ratification would have involved. 

In the midsummer of 1652 broke out the first 
war between the Dutch Republic and England. 
On the western shores of the Atlantic there was 
no inhabited spot which had such good cause for 
alarm as New Amsterdam. The little fortress 
which had watched over it since the days of Peter 
Minuit was unequal to the demands of such a 
crisis. Not only must the fort be repaired, but a 
wall must be built across the island at the north- 
ern limit of the city, for hostile forces might be 
landed at almost any point above. This origin of 
wall, which was finished by May-day of ^^^^ ^'^■^'*- 
1653, was the beginning of one of the most famous 
streets in the world, one of the chief centres of 
commerce and finance, none other than Wall Street. 
There was a line of round palisades, six inches in 
diameter and twelve feet in height, strengthened 


at intervals of a rod by stout posts to whicli split 
rails were fastened at a heiglit of ten feet from 
the ground. Witliin tliis line of palisades was a 
sloping earthwork four feet in height. The wall 
ran up the East Eiver a little way to the Water 
Gate, near the present junction of Pearl and Wall 
streets, and then followed the line of the latter to 
the Land Gate at the corner of Broadway, and 
thence westward to the steep bluff whicli over- 
looked the North River near the site of Greenwich 

The building of these fortifications was a fresh 
source of contention between Stuyvesant and the 
burghers. The duties from exported furs, amount- 
ing to scarcely 23,000 guilders (19000) yearly, were 
not enough to cover public expenses in war time ; 
and a public loan had been made, but still more 
money was needed. The burghers held that it was 
the business of the Company to defend them. The 
excise on wine and beer, which had been estab- 
lished in Kieft's time, was always unpopular ; and 
the burghers now insisted that Stuyvesant must 
apply this excise to the military needs 
of the city before they would consent to 
another loan. In this matter the Director was 
obliged to give way, though but partially and with 
an ill o-race.^ He consented to surrender to the 
city the excise upon liquors consumed within its 
limits ; a fair source of revenue, one might suj)- 

^ See Villard's Early History of Wall Street, in tliat excellent 
little group of monograiDlis, " The Half Moon Series," New York, 

2 New Amsterdam Records, anno 1G53. 


pose, since we are told tliat one fourth of the en- 
tire number of buildings in New Amsterdam were 
inns or tap-houses for the sale of beer and spirits.^ 
One of the most striking features of the great cos- 
mopolitan city in these modern days is the fre- 
quency of places for quenching thirst, insomuch that 
the wayfarer upon Third Avenue or Sixth Avenue, 
who i)asses whole blocks consisting entirely of tap- 
rooms, is inclined to wonder how so many competi- 
tors can earn a livelihood. It is interesting to find 
that this feature of city life already characterized 
New Amsterdam, and we are assured by De Vries 
that from the outset the beer brewed there vied in 
excellence with that of the Fatherland. 

The strength of Stuyvesant's palisadoes was 
never put to the test of war. The Director's wish 
to preserve peace found support in Massachusetts, 
the strongest of the New England colonies, and 
thus the fire-eaters of New Haven and Connecticut 
were restrained. It was rumoured that the Mohe- 
gan chief Uncas had accused Stuyvesant of incit- 
ing the Nyantics and other neighbouring tribes to 
make a concerted attack upon the English. As 
soon as the Director heard of this slan- Absurd 
der he met it with prompt and vigorous ^""^o"^^- 
denial. The chiefs in question also denied it, and 
the Ny antic sachem Ninigret undertook to show its 
absurdity, so far as he was concerned. He had 
visited Manhattan with a pass from John Win- 
throp, governor of Connecticut. His object in 
going there was to try the efficacy of some Dutch 

1 Cutting, Old Taverns and Posting Inns, Half Moon Series, ii. 


medicine of which he had heard, but his reception 
was not such as to make him love Dutchmen. " It 
was winter time," said Ninigret, "and I stood a 
great part of a winter day before the governor's 
door, and he would neither open it nor suffer oth- 
ers to let me in. I am not wont to find such car- 
riage from my English friends." But these denials 
did not satisfy the people of Connecticut and New 
Haven. It was asserted that Ninigret brought 
back from Manhattan a stock of powder and ball, 
besides " wildfire which, when shot with arrows, 
will burn anything ; " and he was moreover said to 
have promised his thirsty braves unstinted fire- 
water. Moreover, some Dutchmen at Manhattan, 
it was said, had threatened the English with " an 
East India breakfast, in which, it is conceived, they 
allude to the horrid, treacherous, and cruel plot 
and execution at Ambo^aia." ^ Commissioners from 
the New England Confederacy visited Manhattan 
to make inquiries of Stuyvesant, whom they treated 
with great rudeness, while they gave heed only to 
such sayings and acts as might seem to incriminate 
his people. 

In these accusations there was ^^erhaps just a 
grain of truth. Agents of Stuyvesant had prob- 
The grain ^^^7 souudcd suudry Indians to learn 
of truth. whether their help could be obtained in 
case of an attack upon Manhattan by the English. 
Such measures had been recommended, as a matter 
of prudence, by the Amsterdam Chamber. The 
employment of barbarian allies was easily toler- 
ated in that age, nor was it effectively condemned 
1 See above, p. 54. 


until since the beginning of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. But between what Stuyvesant may have 
honestly intended and the outrage with which he 
was charged, the difference was a very wide one. 
In the midst of his denials of treachery, he did not 
hesitate to declare that, should the English make 
war on him he should get from the Indians what 
help he could. 

The eccentric John Underbill here appears 
once more upon the scene. To this doughty cham- 
pion, as to the Gow Chrom on the North Inch of 
Perth,^ it seems to have made little difference on 
which side he fought. He now busied himself in 
gathering testimony in support of the charges 
against Stuyvesant. This led to his arrest and 
brief imprisonment at New Amsterdam. On his 
return to his home on Long Island he boldly 
hoisted the Parliament's flag at Heemstede and 
Flushing, and issued a manifesto setting underbill's 
forth the reasons which impelled him to "^-^"if^^t^- 
abjure the iniquitous government of Peter Stuyve- 
sant over the people living on Long Island. That 
tyrant, said the manifesto, had seized upon land 
belonging to private individuals, he had imposed 
taxes that were excessive and without due warrant 
of law, he had violated liberty of conscience by 
acts of religious persecution, he had kept men in 
prison without trial, he had " imposed magistrates 
on freemen without election and voting," he had 
" treacherously and undoubtedly conspired to mur- 
der all the English," he had " been guilty of the 
unheard-of act of striking with his cane an old 

1 In Scott's novel, The Fair Maid of Perth. 


gentleman, a member of his council," and he had 
'-'• publicly threatened every freeman " who failed 
to conform to his pleasure. " The above grounds," 
continued Underbill, " are sufficient for all honest 
hearts that seek the glory of God and their own 
peace and prosperity to throw off this tyrannical 
yoke. Accept and submit ye, then, to the Parlia- 
ment of England, and beware ye of becoming trai- 
tors to one another, for the sake of your own quiet 
and welfare." ^ 

When this address was published. Underbill 
was immediately ordered to quit New Netherland. 
He fled to Narragansett Bay and sent a letter to 
the Federal Commissioners at Boston, offering 
them his military services, while for the moment 
he accepted a commission from Providence Planta- 
tions analogous to a letter of marque, giving him 
authority to capture Dutch vessels. The same 
privilege was conferred upon William Dyer, first 
secretary of Rhode Island.^ Underbill's first ex- 
ploit shows him to have been a master of 

Underbill ^ r- i-i i .,,.„, 

seizes Fort tlic art ot "liberal construction; it he 

Good Hope. . -r\ i i • i i • i 

might capture a Dutch shij) on the high 
sea, why not a Dutch fortress on the mainland? 
So he sailed up the Connecticut River to Hartford 
and nailed a placard upon the abandoned Fort 
Good Hope, declaring that he confiscated it as a 
piece of Dutch property, and held it subject to 
the General Court of Connecticut. Then he pro- 
ceeded to sell the property for his own behoof ; but 

1 New York Colonial MSS., ii. 154, Holland Documents, vi. 

2 Husband of the Quaker lady who seven years afterward was 
cruelly hanged on Boston Common. 


in quiet disregard of all this, the General Court 
next year laid hands upon it as public domain. ^ 
Thus was the last vestige of Dutch dominion in 
New England wiped out. 

In this conquest of an empty blockhouse there 
was not much glory for Underhill. As he will 
not come into our story again, we may ^xit 
here dismiss him with the remark that he u^'^^^^*"- 
lived to see New Amsterdam become New York, 
and his last years were spent at Oyster Bay, on 
Long Island, where he died in 1672. 

The letters of marque issued by the Narragansett 
Bay magistrates gave rise to more or less priva- 
teering on the Sound, which came perilously near 
to piracy, as when Edward Hull captured a French 
ship, and when Thomas Baxter preyed upon Dutch 
and English commerce with strict impartiality and 
unimpeachable loyalty to pelf. More serious war- 
fare was averted, chiefly through the 
action of Massachusetts. The fear of 
Indian attack kej^t the towns along the Connecti- 
cut River and the Sound in perpetual agitation, and 
they clamoured for a campaign that might over- 
throw New Netherland and bring all the neighbour- 
ing Algonquin tribes under English control. The 
government of Massachusetts, more remote from 
the frontier panic, seems to have realized Stuyve- 
sant's situation more accurately and to have under- 
stood that there was more safety in maintaining 
peace than in rushing into war. For this attitude 
the men of Boston were roundly blamed at Hart- 
ford and New Haven, and there were moments 

1 Hartford Records^ Towns and Lands ^ i. 77, 81, 86-88. 


when the strain seemed so severe as to threaten 
the dissohition of the Confederacy. There were 
excited meetings of armed men at Fairfiekl and 
Stamford, and an appeal was made to Oliver Crom- 
well. A pamphlet appeared in London, entitled 
" The Second Part of the Amboyna Tragedy ; or, 
Trne acconnt of a bloody, treacherous, and cruel 
plot of the Dutch in America, purporting the total 
ruin and murder of all the English colonists in 
New England." The Amsterdam Chamber with- 
out delay brought out a Dutch translation of this 
pamphlet and stigmatized it as " an infamous, 
lying libel, at which the Devil in Hell would have 
been startled." ^ How far Oliver may have been 
influenced by such tales is uncertain, but he was 
persuaded by the agents of New Haven and Con- 
necticut to send four ships of war to America. 
This little fleet, n^^on which 200 soldiers were em- 
barked, was commanded by Major Robert Sedg- 
wick and Captain John Leverett. They carried a 
letter from the Lord Protector to the New Eng- 
land governors, requesting prompt and hearty 
cooperation. Massachusetts refused to take an 
active part in the enterprise, but allowed 300 
volunteers to enlist ; Plymouth promised to con- 
tribute 50 men, but failed to get them ready ; 
Connecticut raised 200 men, and New Haven 133 ; 
so that in all there were 833, a force with which 
Stuyvesant could not coj^e. The days of New 
Netherland seemed numbered, when suddenly on 
a July day of 1654, just as Sedgwick's fleet was 
preparing to sail out from Boston harbour, an Eng- 
1 Albany Records, viii. ; O'Callaghan, Hist. N. N., ii. 571. 


lish ship came sailing in with the news that peace 
had been made between their High Mightinesses 
and the Lord Protector. 

A weight was lifted from the anxious hearts of 
the worthy burghers at Manhattan. To the danger 
from without there had been added danger from 
within. The English upon Loug: Island, 

no , 1 Disaffection 

who had once been btuyvesant s staunch upon Long 

^ Island. 

supporters, now showed strong symptoms 
of disaffection. In a spirit of mistaken caution 
the West India Company had instructed the Di- 
rector to give the public offices to none but Dutch- 
men ; whereupon it began presently to appear that 
the men of Gravesend and Flushing were no longer 
so fond of " strong government " as formerly ; 
they had come to dread anarchy less and tyranny 
more. Foremost among the leaders of this oppo- 
sition was George Baxter, who had once been a 
confidential agent of the Director and one of the 
arbiters in the treaty of Hartford. The political 
troubles came to a crisis in December, 1653, when 
the Director, with extreme reluctance, allowed a 
" landdag " or popular convention to as- ^ popular 
semble at New Amsterdam for a discus- aS^a re'-^"' 
sion of public affairs. Four Dutch and ™«"«tr'^«^«- 
four English towns ^ were represented in this con- 
vention by ten Dutch and nine English delegates. 
A Kemonstrance addressed to the States General 
was drawn up by George Baxter and adopted by 
the convention. It grouped the grievances of the 

^ The Dutch towns were New Amsterdam, Brooklyn, Flat- 
lands, and Flatbush ; the English were Flushing-, Middleburg, 
Hempstead, and Gravesend. 


people under six heads : 1. " Our apprehension 
of the establishment of an arbitrary government 
amongst us ; " 2. The protection afforded by gov- 
ernment against the Indians is grossly inadequate ; 
3. Officers and magistrates are appointed without 
the nomination or consent of the people, and con- 
trary to the laws of the Netherlands ; 4. Long- 
forgotten orders and decrees of the Director and 
council are raked up for the confusion and punish- 
ment of persons who could not be supposed to 
know them ; 5. Promised grants, on the faith of 
which large tracts of land had been improved, have 
been withheld ; 6. Immense estates have been 
granted to favourites, whereby sundry villages and 
towns have suffered detriment. 

This Remonstrance was signed by all the nine- 
teen delegates, and sent to the Director, with the 
request that he would return a specific and cate- 
gorical answer to each of its allegations. His 
answer was neither specific nor categorical, but it 
was characteristic. It was full of the evasions 
and subterfuges in which unconstitutional rulers in 
all ages and countries have been wont to indulge. 
" Arbitrary government, indeed ! " he would like 
to know what they meant by that. Had not all 
the remonstrants sworn to obey the present govern- 
ment? Well, then, if they would make out their 
case it was incumbent on them to show that it was 
more arbitrary than Kief t's ! As for appointments 
contrary to the laws of the Netherlands, what did 
George Baxter, an Englishman, know about the 
laws of the Netherlands? And as for this con- 
vention, whose acts " smelt of rebellion," by what 


right did it come together to heap unprovoked 
aft'ronts and contumely upon those in authority ? 
What nonsense — to say that " the law of Nature " 
authorizes men to hold meetings to concert mea- 
sures for the protection of their lives and property ! 
It is only magistrates and not common folk w\\o 
have any right thus to assemble. " We derive our 
authority from God and the Company, not from a 
few ignorant subjects, and we alone can call the 
inhabitants too:ether." With such words did hard- 
headed Peter turn the convention out of doors. It 
had sat four days.^ 

When the West India Company heard of these 
proceedings, it emphatically approved Stuyvesant's 
conduct, only chiding him gently for his misplaced 
courtesy in condescending to parley with the lead- 
ers of the rabble. Thereupon the Direc- Triumph of 
tor expelled from their civil offices the ^tuyvesant. 
two gentlemen, George Baxter and James Hub- 
bard, who had sat as delegates for Gravesend. 
They retorted briskly by flying the English flag 
at Gravesend and proclaiming Oliver Cromwell, 
whereupon Stuyvesant sent a party of soldiers who 
arrested Hubbard and Baxter, brought them up 
the bay to Fort Amsterdam, and locked them up. 
The Director's triumph was complete. 

But trouble soon came from a new quarter. In 
the summer of 1655 occurred the grand expedition 
to the Delaware River, when an end was put to 
the political existence of New Sweden, as narrated 
in the preceding chapter. While Stuyvesant was 

1 Holland Documents, xv. 168-175 ; Albany Records, ix. 5, 16, 
17-24, 26, 28-56. 


absent on that expedition, with nearly the whole 
military force of the colony, an Indian war sud- 
denly broke out. 

Among the philanthropic friends of the red man 
there are some who not only are inclined to ac- 
credit him with all the Christian virtues, but in 
particular maintain that he is by temperament a 
lover of peace, and would never think of lifting 
the tomahawk unless goaded beyond endurance by 
nnscrupulous white men. The advocates of this 
paradox must take pleasure in recalling the cir- 
cumstances of the Indian massacre of 1655. The 
blame seems to rest entirely on one Dutchman, 
Hendrick van Dyck, who had been schout-fiscal 
of New Netherland. Van Dyck's comfortable 
house, with its garden and orchard, stood on the 
west side of Broadway, a little way above the 
Bowling Green ; and next to him lived Paul van 
der Grist, the sturdy sea-dog who had captured 
the San Beninio in New Haven harbour. The 
front part of this veteran's house was a shop in 
which he retailed groceries, dry goods, and knick- 
van Dyck's kuacks. On a September afternoon Van 
cruelty. Dyck camc upon an Indian squaw in 
his orchard, stealing peaches, and instantly drew 
his pistol and killed her. It was a cruel act and 
incredibly stupid. For ten years, ever since the 
conclusion of Kieft's war, the Indians had made 
no trouble. Stuyvesant in his dealings with them 
was firm, truthful, and just, and had reason to feel 
proud of his success in winning their friendship. 
The wretched Van Dyck put an end to this peace 
and security. Before daybreak of September 15, 


while the little town was still wrapt in slumber, 
a swarm of canoes came gliding through 

1 rtf\r\r\ at New Am- 

the water, and nearly Z\jyjyj tawny Algon- sterdam 
quins from Esopus and Hackensack, with red- 


Tappan and Stamford, leaped ashore on 
Manhattan and thronged through the streets. 
They offered no violence to anybody, but here and 
there a party of them burst into a house, under 
pretence of searching for Mohawks. Some of the 
city magistrates succeeded in getting the sachems 
to come into the fort, where a parley was held. 
As a result of the conference the warriors took 
their canoes and paddled off to Governor's Island, 
but at sundown they returned. A party of them 
landed at the Battery, rushed up Broadway to 
Van Dyck's door, and sent an arrow through his 
heart, while his neighbour Van der Grist, coming 
to the rescue, was struck dead with a tomahawk. 
The citizens turned out so promptly that the In- 
dians retreated to their canoes and aimed their 
blow at the villages on the mainland. Hoboken 
and Pavonia were laid in ashes, and then Staten 
Island was devastated. Within three days 100 
persons had been murdered, 150 had 
been carried into captivity, and 300 had 
lost their homes. Not less than 500 head of cattle 
were killed or driven away, and an immense quan- 
tity of grain was burnt. Of the victims seven men 
and one woman were put to death in cold blood, 
with fiendish cruelties.^ 

Stuyvesant was hastily summoned back from 
the Delaware River, but by the time he returned 

^ Albany Hecords, x. 165. 


the Indians, having assuaged their thirst for ven- 
geance, had become eager to get rid of their pris- 
oners, whose board made alarming inroads upon 
their larders. So the Director succeeded in ran- 
soming some of them, at the rate of 78 pounds 
of gunpowder and 40 staves of lead for 28 Chris- 
tians. But the Esopus chiefs insisted on keeping 
several of their prisoners as hostages for Dutch 
good behaviour ; and so matters languished for 
Conference ^ whiic. lu May, 1658, tlic ludiaus at 
at Esopus. Esopus killed a farmer and burned two 
houses, whereupon Stu3^vesant went up the river 
with 50 soldiers, and called the sachems to ac- 
count. There was a conference under an ancient 
tree of vast expanse, and the cinnamon-skinned 
chieftains vied in oratory with Father Wooden 
Leg. He scolded them soundly and threatened 
them with war should they fail to deliver up the 
murderer. The Indian reply was characteristic : 
they could not surrender the culprit, for he was 
not one of their tribe, but a Minisink, and he had 
fled into the great woods, no one could say just 
where, but doubtless many days' journey. Then 
with more frankness he complained of the damage 
wrought by the white man's fire-water ; but as for 
attacking the settlers, they had done it not through 
any malice, but simply because their young men 
were rabid with desire to kill somebody. 

If the dusky speaker had felt called upon to 
explain this thirst for blood, he might have said 
that in no well-regulated Indian community can 
a youthful warrior hope to win favours from the 
young squaws until he can point to the scalps of 


enemies whom he has slain. This causa teterrima 
has been responsible for countless secret assassina- 
tions and open massacres ; and the confession of 
the Esopus chieftain has all the earmarks of truth. 

Father Wooden Leg's retort was prompt and 
fierce. If the young braves were so eager for 
scalps, let them come on and try. He would 
match twenty of his Dutchmen against forty of 
them. What ! why this hesitation ? Surely, they 
cannot be afraid ! Yes, the Algonquin valour had 
evaporated, and the chiefs came forward with belts 
of wampum, begging for peace and forgiveness, 
A village with a blockhouse was then built at 
Esopus, but in the autumn the troubles were re- 
newed. Once more we find the white Bloodshed 
men to blame. A party of Indians em- ^^ ^^''^"^• 
ployed by one of the settlers got hold of a jug of 
fire-water and made the night air so hideous with 
their tipsy yells that a panic was started among 
the farmers, and in spite of stringent orders from 
the commander of the blockhouse, some foolish 
people fired at the Indians and wounded two or 
three. This was the first act in a war in which 
several Dutchmen were burned at the stake, and 
the Algonquin braves gathered a plentiful harvest 
of scalps. It became necessary to call in the aid 
of the Mohawks to chastise these fractious tribu- 
taries, and it was not until July, 1660, that peace 
was made. 

But in the very act of making this peace, the 
worthy Director unwittingly sowed the seeds of 
another war. Instead of setting all his prisoners 
free, he shipped some of them off to Cura9oa, and 


thus created a fresh blood-debt which the braves 
at Esopus patiently awaited their chance to liqui- 
date. The growth of the settlements in that neigh- 
bourhood was watched by these barbarians with 
an evil eye. When the blow fell, in June, 1663, 
jjo,.g it was like a thunderbolt. Two villages 

bloodshed. ^^g^,g reduced to ashes, and the fields far 
and near were strewn with mangled corpses of 
men, women, and children, the victims of one of 
the worst of Indian massacres. The ensuing war 
lasted nearly a year, in the course of which the 
red men were thoroughly beaten. The last treaty 
of peace between Dutchmen and Algonquins was 
made in May, 1664. 

These Indian wars of Stuyvesant's time were 
small affairs in comparison with the war that Kieft 
had provoked in 1643. The earlier conflict imper- 
illed the existence of the colony ; the later ones did 
not perceptibly retard its progress. The nine years 
of Stuyvesant's rule after the fall of New Sweden, 
the period during which these wars occurred, was 
a period of unexampled growth and pro- 
New Nether- sperity. By 1664 the population of New 
Amsterdam had reached 1600, and signal 
improvements in the building and furnishing of 
its houses marked the general increase in wealth 
and comfort. At the same time the entire popu- 
lation of the province had reached 10,000 souls. 

Nevertheless, the military situation of NewNeth- 
erland, at the time of the Restoration of Charles 
II., was lamentably weak. The population of 
New England was not less than 50,000, that of 
Virginia was about 35,000, and that of Maryland 


about 15,000. The emigration from England, 
therefore, had been ten times as volumi- 
nous as the emigration from Holland. NewEng- 
But this is an understatement of the case ; 
for in New Netherland itself there were so many 
Englishmen that, as we have seen, there had for 
years been two secretaries of state, one Dutch and 
one English. The principal English strength was 
in the towns on Long Island, and in recent years 
these towns had shown symptoms of restlessness 
under Stuyvesant's rule. Since 1655 the New 
England population, overflowing the boundary at 
Greenwich, had pressed into Westchester County. 
In that year Thomas Pell, without so much as say- 
ing "By your leave" to the government at New 
Amsterdam, had bought from the Indians and be- 
gun to colonize the domain known now peih^m 
as Pelham Manor, but then as Annie's ^^"^^■• 
Hook, the peninsula where the unfortunate Anne 
Hutchinson had made her last home on earth. 
Stuyvesant protested against this act as a viola- 
tion of the treaty of Hartford, and ordered the 
said Pell to depart within fifteen days — ''with 
your people, servants or slaves, furniture, cattle, 
implements, and every article of property you and 
your nation have brought hither" — or take the 
consequences.^ But the said Pell did not budge, 
and whatever the consequences may have been, 
they were not fatal. 

Although Massachusetts had in 1653 refused to 
go to war with New Netherland, yet it could not 

1 New York Colonial MSS., ii. 162 ; Holland Documents, ix. 
Letter G. 


be overlooked that her charter gave her sovereignty 
as far west as the Pacific Ocean, and hints were 
sometimes heard that the patroon of Rensselaer- 
wyck owed allegiance to a suzerain at the mouth 
of the Charles Eiver rather than of the Hudson. 
In 1662 the learned and courtly governor of Con- 
necticut, the younger John Winthrop, went to 
London with a charter in his pocket which he had 
drawn up himself, and which fully sanctioned the 
free republican government under which Connect- 
icut had been living from the day of its founda- 
tion by Thomas Hooker. It is said that 
icut char- wlicu Wiutlirop was admitted to an audi- 
ence by Charles II., he wore upon his 
finger a very handsome ring which Charles I. had 
presented to his grandmother. Before entering 
upon business he called attention to this ring, and 
drawing it from his finger gave it to the king, 
whose feelings were strongly moved thereby. At 
such a moment it would have seemed ungracious 
not to sign the charter, and Charles II. was not 
ungracious. Besides, he had some spiteful impulses 
of his own to gratify. New Haven must be pun- 
ished for sheltering the regicides, and stiff-necked 
Massachusetts must be made to see the unwelcome 
sight of a rival sister waxing as strong as herself. 
So New Haven was summarily annexed to Connect- 
icut, and that commonwealth was made vii'tually 
as big as Massachusetts by assigning tlie Pacific 
Ocean as her western boundary. 

In this famous charter the existence of New 
Netherland was simply ignored, as the English 
government had always ignored it. When Stuy- 


vesant heard of it, he said with truth that it com- 
pletely nullified the treaty of Hartford, and left 
him legally and morally free to renew his old 
claims upon all the territory west of Cape Cod, 
After an angry correspondence with Winthrop, the 
latter called upon the people of Westchester and 
the Long Island towns to choose representatives to 
sit in the next General Court of Connecticut. In 
so far as any principles of international law in 
such matters could as yet be said to be recognized 
by the foremost nations of Europe, the Dutch 
would seem to have held New Netherland by as 
good a title as that by which the English held New 
England. The first nation which laid claim to the 
New World, by the right of discovery, was Spain ; 
but in oi^der to set aside this claim, and 
justify herself in the possession of the Dutch 
Atlantic coast of North America, which 
the Cabots had discovered for her grandfather, 
Queen Elizabeth in 1580 laid down the principle 
that " prescription without possession is of no 
avail." According to this principle France would 
have a valid title to Canada, because she had actu- 
ally taken possession of the country ; but Spain 
could not set up a valid claim to the Atlantic coast 
of North America, because, except in the case of 
Florida, she had never taken possession of it. In 
the seventeenth century Spain was in no condition 
to dispute this principle with England ; and as it 
was England that first announced and maintained 
the principle, she was clearly bound to abide by it. 
But without deserting this principle, how could 
England call in question the Dutch title to New 


Netlierlancl ? In tlie charter of 1620, providing 
for the colonization of New England, it was ex- 
pressly declared that the king granted no land 
that was already occupied by " any other Christian 
prince or estate." The Dutch could maintain that 
since their colony of New Netherland had been in 
existence since 1614, it was clearly covered by the 
terms of this proviso ; but the English would reply 
by denying that the scanty settlement made in 
1614 constituted an occupation of the country in 
any proper sense of that word. In 1621 the House 
of Commons distinctly reaffirmed Queen Eliza- 
beth's doctrine, and laid it down as a principle of 
international law by which the English govern- 
ment must be guided. 

But the English never admitted that the case 
of New Netherland was covered by this general 
principle. According to the English view of the 
matter, James I. took possession of the whole 
American coast between the 34th and 45th paral- 
lels when he issued his great charter for the 
London and Plymouth companies in 1606. In 
The English pnrsuancc of the scheme then set on foot, 
view. permanent occupation began in 1607 at 

Jamestown and in 1620 at Plymouth. The Eng- 
lish would say that no Dutch occupation of the 
Hudson River worthy of the name took place 
before 1623, and then that territory, as lying be- 
tween Jamestown and Plymouth, was virtually 
preoccupied by the English. The Dutch might 
plant trading stations there and boweries and 
manors, and from such beginnings towns might 
grow, but from first to last for everything they had 


on that soil they owed allegiance, not to the States 
General, but to the English crown. If they had 
put on airs of sovereignty there for forty years and 
more, it was only upon sufferance, and at any 
moment the English crown had a perfect right to 
step in and take possession of its own. To this 
view, though based upon very questionable pre- 
mises, the English persistently clung, and there is 
no reason for doubting the honesty of their convic- 

By the time of Charles II. it was clear that 
there were strong reasons for stepping in and 
asserting the claim upon New Netherland. Among 
the provisions of the Navigation Laws it was en- 
acted that no European goods should be brought 
into the English colonies in America except in 
English ships sailing from England. Not so much 
as a Dutch cheese could be carried in a Dutch ship 
from Amsterdam to Boston without being subject 
to confiscation. But there was nothing to hinder 
the Dutch cheese from being carried to ^he Naviga- 
New Amsterdam, and there exchanged ^^i^nLaws. 
for a pound of tobacco grown in Virginia ; and as 
the Dutch commercial policy was very liberal, a 
brisk and thriving trade went on between the Eng- 
lish colonies and New Netherland in spite of all 
the navigation laws it might please Parliament to 
enact. Obviously none of these restrictive laws 
could be enforced in America so long as the Dutch 
retained control of New Netherland, and this alone 
would sufficiently explain the desire of the English 
to wrest the province from their rivals. When we 
add that the Hudson River was the main pathway 


of the lucrative fur trade which England sorely 
coveted, and also that the control of this region 
was absolutely necessary for the military command 
of the continent, it is quite clear that the doom of 
the Dutch colony was sooner or later inevitable. 
From so rich a prize the hands of England could 
not be kept off. 

In the summer of 1663 there were beheld such 
dire signs and ^^ortents as in ancient heathen phi- 
losophy proclaimed the deep sympathy of nature 
si<rnsand ^^^ ^^^^ prcscuce of impending calamity. 
omens. ^^^ earthquake shook the valley of the 

Hudson, all the way from Beverwyck down to 
Fort Amsterdam, and sent reverberations far into 
Canada and Acadia. Then the mighty river over- 
flowed its banks in a freshet of unprecedented 
magnitude which ruined the standing corn. There 
was a fearful visitation of small-pox, and for a 
climax to the misery and gloom came the horrible 
Indian massacre at Esopus. Many said that the 
wrath of God was kindled against New Nether- 

The curtain was soon to rise upon the last act 
of the drama. Busy intriguers were near the 
Intriguers tlirouc. There was George Baxter, now 
a^gamst rcady to turn the tables on Stuyvesant ; 
Netheriand. ^^^ ^'^j^ ^am. Johu Scott, a bold unscru- 
pulous adventurer who had been dismissed from 
the royalist army for a misdemeanour, and had 
afterward been upon the Cromwellian side, but who 
knew how to gain the ear of Charles II. Along 
with Baxter and Scott was Samuel Maverick, who 
had some old scores to settle with Massachusetts, 


and was glad to assist the king in making up his 
mind that the time had come for him to assert his 
royal authority decisively and forcefully along the 
American coast. These men assured Charles that 
the Navigation Act would never be anything but 
a dead letter so long as the Dutch controlled the 
Hudson River. One result of all their confer- 
ences was that Scott sailed for America in the 
autumn, armed with royal letters of recommenda- 
tion to Winthrop and the other New England 

As for Winthrop, he clearly realized Stuyve- 
sant's helplessness. In October, while Scott was 
upon the ocean, the Director sent envoys to Hart- 
ford, where they found cold comfort. They pro- 
tested against the claim of Connecticut to West- 
chester County and the Long Island towns west of 
Oyster Bay. A committee of the General Court 
was appointed to confer with them, and the pre- 
liminary skirmish was ominous. " If Connecticut 
extends to the Pacific Ocean, where lies New 
Netherland ? " asked the Dutchmen. " We know 
not," said the men of Hartford, " unless you can 
show us your charter." Then the Dutchmen 
referred to the charter of the West India 

r^ , , XX f 1 T T "^^^^ Dutch 

Company, but the Hartford men replied envoys at 

1 1 1 1 . TT. 1 TIT- 1 Hartford. 

that by such a charter their High Might- 
inesses had only conferred trading rights upon the 
West India Company ; they could not grant away 
territory that belonged to the King of England. 
Then the astonished Dutchmen asked, if the Hud- 
son River belonged to the King of England, in 
what light was the treaty of Hartford to be re- 


garded. As mere waste paper, was the reply ; it 
had never been ratified by any. governing author- 
ity in England, whether parliament, lord protector, 
or king. As to the domains immediately in dis- 
pute, the Connecticut men insisted upon having 
Westchester, but were willing to keej) their hands 
off from Flushing, Hempstead, and the neighbour 
towns, provided the Dutch would do the same. 
But to such humiliation the indignant Dutchmen 
would not stoop, and so the conference ended. ^ 
Then Stuyvesant wrote home to the Company, 
begging them to send soldiers and supplies ; oth- 
erwise, said he, " we declare that it is wholly out 
of our power to keep the sinking ship afloat any 
longer." ^ 

When Scott arrived in December he was well 
received in Connecticut and by the Long Island 
towns. The latter had just taken matters into 
their own hands and proclaimed King Charles. 
Stuyvesant then accepted the Connecticut terms ; 
he gave up Westcliester and agreed in leaving the 
Lono^ Island towns to themselves. Scott an- 
nounced that Long Island was about to be granted 
to the Duke of York. Meanwhile the towns of 
Hempstead, Gravesend, Flushing, Oyster Bay, 
Middleburgh, and Jamaica formed themselves pro- 
President visioually iuto a league and chose Scott 
Scott. £q^ their president. All things did not 

go smoothly, however. The son of a burgomaster 
refused to take off his hat to the English flag, and 

1 Albany Becords, xvi. 292-315. 

2 New York Colonial MSS., ii. 484, Holland Documents^ xii. 

No. 7. 


President Scott dealt him a blow, wliereiipon he 
was told that he had better strike grown men, not 
boys, and altercations ensued which grew into a 
series of petty riots. There was so much turbu- 
lence that Stuyvesant sent his able and accom- 
plished councillor, Nicasius de Sille, across the 
East River with an armed force, to protect the 
Dutch towns, Brooklyn and Flatbush. 

The crisis was so serious that in April, 1664, 
a landdag or convention was assembled in New 
Amsterdam, to consider what should be done. 
Jeremias van Rensselaer, from Rensselaerwyck, 
presided. Very little was accomplished, for the 
more the situation was discussed the worse it 
looked. It was agreed that it would not be pru- 
dent to use military force against President Scott, 
inasmuch as Connecticut would aid him, and New 
Netherland was not a match for Connecticut. So 
said Cornelius Beekman, and the conven- 

1 -r> /-, Fall of 

tion mourniully assented. But Connect- President 
icut, on her part, concluded that ocott 
was putting on too many airs of sovereignty ; Gov- 
ernor Winthrop had him arrested and locked up in 
Hartford, and then visited Long Island in person 
to win the favour of the people. In June he had 
an interview with Stuyvesant at Gravesend, but it 
came to nothing. 

During this prolonged state of tension in the 
New World there was profound peace between the 
Netherlands and England. Peace had now lasted 
ten years. Nevertheless Charles II. had made up 
his mind to seize New Netherland by surprise. 
Some sovereigns would, have waited for the next 


war, a few miglit have picked a quarrel on pur- 
pose, but Charles knew better. He preferred to 
take the almost certain chance of bringing on a 
war by seizing the coveted treasure in the first 
place. According to the English theory it was 
rightfully his already; surely he could expel in- 
truders from his own territory without asking per- 
mission or notifying anybody ! So Lord Stirling's 
claim upon Long Island was bought up for X3500, 
and then the island was granted to the 

Grant of _., iii t t>vi 

New Nether- kmsf s worthv brotlicr, James, Duke of 

land to the ^^ , i a 1 1 • i n i • i 

Duke of York and Albany, with all the rights of 

York, 1GG4. . rry • i t 

a lord proprietary. Together with Long 
Island the grant included the mainland with its 
rivers west of the Connecticut River as far as the 
Delaware. This covered not only the whole of 
New Netherland, but half of the actual territory 
of Connecticut, to say nothing of Connecticut's 
extension to the Pacific Ocean. It was thus in 
flat violation of the charter granted two years be- 
fore to Winthrop, but no Stuart king ever heeded 
such trifles as merely giving away to one man 
what he had already given away to another.^ 

An expedition was organized in deepest secrecy, 
lest their High Mightinesses should take alarm 
and send a fleet to the defence of New Amsterdam. 
Four ships were fitted out, and 500 veteran troops 

were embarked in them, under command 
his commis- of Coloiicl Ricliard Nicolls, p^room of the 

sion. ' ° 

bed-chamber to the Duke of York, and 
already appointed governor of the province about 
to be seized, or — as he would have phrased it — 

1 See my Old Virginia and her NeigJibours, i. 288. 


from whicli a trespassing government was to be 
expelled. In spite of all precautions, some ru- 
mours were whispered in New England and found 
their way to the ears of Stuyvesant, who prepared 
for defence as best he might, and in particular 
detained some warships which were ready to start 
for Cura^oa. But a despatch from Amsterdam 
induced a false feeling of security. It announced 
that the English squadron was sent out with the 
purpose of enforcing Episcopacy upon the New 
England colonies. For this report there was a 
sufficient basis. The expedition had a double pur- 
pose which served finely to mislead the Dutch. 
Along with Colonel Nicolls were embarked Colo- 
nel George Cartwright, Sir Robert Carr, and Mr. 
Samuel Maverick, and these four gentlemen were 
a royal commission empowered to look into Amer- 
ican affairs generally, and in particular to over- 
haul and investigate the arrogant theocratic gov- 
ernment of Massachusetts. Boston was, indeed, 
the little fleet's immediate destination, and this cir- 
cumstance helped to lull suspicion at New Amster- 
dam. The royal commissioners were authorized to 
raise troops in New England, but from Massachu- 
setts they got no help worth mentioning. So far 
as the Navigation Act was concerned, she was not 
anxious to see it enforced, and Dutch rule at Man- 
hattan was more convenient for her than English. 
For the Stuart king she had no love, and his 
commissioners were to her simply men of Belial. 
The ingenuity of the able Boston magistrates 
was devoted to baffling their designs upon Massa- 
chusetts, and, naturally enough, small zeal was 


shown in aiding their designs upon New Nether- 

With Connecticut, of course, the case was very 
different, and it was well understood that her 
whole military force was at Colonel Nicolls's dis- 
posal. The fleet lingered a month in Boston har- 
bour, while the commissioners were engaged in 
subtle argument with the hard-headed and sharp- 
witted Puritan magistrates, and nobody in public 
so much as winked in the direction of New Am- 
sterdam. So the Director allowed the Cura^oa 
ships to go on their way, and then he was obliged 
to go up to Rensselaerwyck, where the red men 
were burning and scalping. The unquenchable 
feud between Mohawk and Mohegan had once 
more burst into flames, and some skulls of the 
Mohawk's white allies were cleft by Mohegan 
tomahawks. While Stuyvesant was busy with 
this affair a courier came spurring in wild haste 
to tell him that the English fleet had sailed from 
Boston and was hourly expected to show itself off 
Arrival of Coucy Island. Leaving the people of 
fleeUn^tiTe' Reussclaerwyck to deal with the savages. 
Lower Bay. gtuy vcsaut hurricd down the river. The 
day after his arrival at Manhattan, the stately 
black frigates, with the red ensign of England fly- 
ing at their mastheads, were seen coming up the 
Lower Bay, where they anchored just below the 
Narrows, and sent ashore a company of soldiers, 
who seized the blockhouse upon Staten Island. 

The situation was without a single ray of hope. 
Stuyvesant had at his command about 150 trained 
soldiers, besides 250 citizens capable of bearing 


arms, and among these there were many dis- 
affected. Fort Amsterdam mounted 20 guns, with 
a very inadequate supply of powder ; at the north 
was the Wall Street palisade, and both 

New Am- 

the river banks were completely defence- sterdam 

■■- ^ . helpless. 

less against the approach of four frigates 
carrying not less than 120 guns, while the enemy's 
men, including New England volunteers, must 
have numbered nearly 1000. Yet Stuyvesant was 
determined to resist. On Saturday, August 30, 
Colonel Cartwright came up the bay with a sum- 
mons to surrender the province of New Nether- 
land, with an assurance that no harm should be 
done to life or property. It was found that NicoUs 
had forgotten to sign this paper, and while it was 
taken back for his signature, Stuyvesant consulted 
with the burgomasters and schepens, and found 
them strongly inclined to submission, but all the 
while all hands were kept bravely at work repair- 
ing the crazy fortifications. 

On Tuesday morning a boat with a flag of truce 
rowed up to Whitehall, and Governor Winthrop, 
with half a dozen other gentlemen, came ashore. 
They were escorted to the parlour of the nearest 
tavern, where Stuyvesant and the city magistrates 
received them politely. Winthrop in his most 
kindly manner tried to persuade the gallant Di- 
rector to accept the inevitable, but his arguments 
fell upon deaf ears. Then Winthrop 

■^ -^ Nicolls's 

handed a letter to Stuyvesant, and the letter to 

. "^ ' . Winthrop. 

English gentlemen returned to their boat, 
while the Dutch dignitaries proceeded to the fort. 
The letter, addressed by Nicolls to Winthrop, was 
then read aloud by Stuyvesant : — 


" Mr. Winthrop : As to those particulars you 
spoke to me, I do assure you that if the Manhadoes 
be delivered up to his Majesty, I shall not hinder, 
but any people from the Netherlands may freely 
come and plant there or thereabouts ; and such 
vessels of their own country may freely come 
thither, and any of them may as freely return 
home, in vessels of their own country ; and this and 
much more is contained in the privilege of his Ma- 
jesty's English subjects ; and thus much you may, 
by what means you please, assure the Governor 
from. Sir, your very affectionate servant, 


This wise and kindly document wrought a visible 
effect upon the burgomasters present, and they 
wished that it might be read to the citizens who 
were gathered in a vast crowd outside. But Stuyve- 
stuyvesant saut, wlio did not wish to have any such 
iltteVto effect produced, stoutly refused, and when 
pieces. ^Y\Q burgomasters insisted, he flew into a 

rage and tore the letter into small pieces. There- 
upon several of the magistrates, gravely offended, 
left the room. The news was told to the throng 
of people, vv^ho received it with hisses and growls. 
Three prominent citizens came in where the Di- 
rector was standing, and demanded the letter. 
Amid vociferous uproar StuyVesant retreated into 
Nicholas ^1^6 council-chamber, while Nicholas Bay- 
SiYpk^cis"*'^ ard, who had gathered up the fragments 
together. ^£ ^j^^ letter, pieced them together and 
made a true copy, which was read aloud to the 

^ Book of General Entries, i. 12. 


people with marked and wholesome effect. There 
were many in the town who did not regard a sur- 
render to England as the worst of misfortunes. 
They were weary of hard-headed Peter's arbitrary 
ways and disgusted with their High Mightinesses 
and the West India Company for leaving them un- 
protected ; and in this mood they lent a popular 
willing ear to the offer of English liber- ^"^murs. 
ties. Was it not better to surrender on favourable 
terms than to lose their lives in behalf of — what ? 
their homes and families ? No, indeed, but in be- 
half of a remote government which had done little 
or nothing for them ! If they were lost to Hol- 
land, it was Holland's loss, not theirs. With such 
a temper the tact and moderation of Colonel 
Nicolls were likely to prevail. 

Meanwhile Stuyvesant wrote an elaborate argu- 
ment to prove the justice and soundness gf the 
Dutch title to New Netherland, and sent 
it by four trusty friends to Nicolls. The this time, 

, . , , not mightier 

reply was what mioht have been expected, than the 

XT' n 1 1 • sword. 

Nicolls was not there to argue the point. 
He stood upon no question of right ; that was a 
matter for his Majesty and their High Mighti- 
nesses. He was only a soldier acting under orders, 
and if his terms were refused he must attack. 
" On Thursday," quoth he, " I shall speak with 
you at the Manhattans." He, was told that he 
would be welcome if he were to come as a friend. 
" I shall come with ships and soldiers," said Nicolls, 
" hoist a white flag at the fort, and I may consider 
your proposals." 

Accordingly on Thursday, September 4, two of 


the frigates came up and dropped anchor near 
Governor's Island, while Nicolls marched with three 
companies to the site of the Brooklyn end of Ful- 
stuyvesant's ^^^^ Fcrrj, whcrc hc was joined by a large 
despair. force from Connecticut and the English 
towns of Long Island. Among these appeared 
the quondam President Scott, who had been freed 
from durance upon the arrival of the fleet and now 
commanded a small troop of cavalry. The other 
two frigates came on past Fort Amsterdam under 
full canvas and with all their guns loaded. " Re- 
sistance is not soldiership," said De Sille, " it is 
sheer madness." But Stuyvesant hesitated while 
the gunners, with lighted matches, awaited his 
order. Then Dominie Megapolensis laid his hand 
upon the veteran's shoulder, and mildly said, " Of 
what avail are our poor guns against that broad- 
side of more than sixty? It is wrong to shed 
blood to no purpose." The order to fire was not 
given, and the frigates passed quietly into the 
North River. Leaving De Sille in command of 
the fort, the Director took 100 men and hurried 
up town to check any attempt of the enemy to 
land. He was met by a remonstrance signed by 93 
leading citizens, among whose names he read that 
of his own son, Balthazar. Women and children 
flocked about the brave old man and added their 
jjesur- tearful entreaties. " Well, let it be so," 
renders. ]^g g^-^-|^ a J j^^^j rather bc Carried to my 

grave." ^ In a few moments the white flag fluttered 

1 " Doch de Requirant liet selve tot het laeste toe liadde 
geweygert, seggende dat hy veel liever daaruyt gedragen wilde 
werden." Holland Documents, xii. 279; deposition of Adrian 


over the ramparts of Fort Amsterdam, and so the 
rule of Holland in America came peacefully to an 

It would be hard to find any canon of political 
morality upon which this achievement of Charles 
II. could be defended.! It may well be said to 
have merited the revenge which the Dutch took in 
the ensuing war, when they sailed up the ^he Dutch 
Medway, burned the fleet at Chatham, ^^^^^^e. 
and blockaded the Thames — the sorest military 
humiliation that England has ever known since 
William the Norman landed in Sussex. If the 
conquest of New Netherl^d itself was bloodless, 
on the other hand the ensuing carnage at Low- 
estoft and the North Foreland has hardly been 
equalled in the annals of naval warfare. 

Looked at merely with reference to its place in 
the chain of historic causation, the acquisition of 
New Netherland by the English was an event 
scarcely second in magnitude to the conquest of 
Canada in later days. The position of NicoUs in 
the seventeenth century answers to that of Wolfe 
in the eighteenth. The earlier conquest Pouticaicon- 
was the first great link in the chain of sequences. 
events that brought about the latter, for it brought 
the British frontier into direct and important con- 
tact with the French frontier, all the way from 
the headwaters of the Hudson River to those of the 

1 Professor Thorold Rog-ers {The Story of Holland, p. 265) 
makes the surprising- statement that " Charles disavowed the acts 
of Nicolls, and even imprisoned him., but made no restitution." 
One would like to know what could ever have sugg-ested such a 


Ohio. It gave to the English the command of the 
commercial and military centre of the Atlantic 
coast of North America ; and by bringing New 
England into closer relations with Virginia and 
Maryland, it prefignred and made possible a gen- 
eral union of Atlantic states. 

About a year after the surrender of New Am- 
sterdam, the Director returned to Holland to make 
his rei^ort to the States General. His 

Stnyvesant's . r» i 

visit to Hoi- reception was at first rather a cold one. 

The directors of the West India Com- 
pany were angry and wanted somebody to punish, 
and so the vials of their wrath were poured out 
upon poor Stuyvesant. But when he wrote to 
New York for testimony in justification of his 
conduct, it came in such plentiful amount and of 
such unimpeachable cliaracter that the good man 
was triumphantly vindicated, and the tongues of 
his detractors were silenced. He returned to New 
York in 1667 and passed the brief remainder of 
his life in peaceful retirement on his bowery, which 
occupied the sj^ace now bounded by Fourth Avenue 
and the East Kiver, and by Sixth and Seventeenth 
streets. His wooden house, of two stories with 

projecting rafters, stood at a point a little 
years, and east of Third Aveiiue and just north of 

Tenth Street. The approach to it led 
through a garden, bright with Dutch flowers ar- 
ranged in beds of geometrical pattern, after the 
stiff fashion that has generally prevailed in conti- 
nental Europe. There the aged Stuyvesant spent 
in private life what were doubtless his happiest 
years. His city house, known as the Whitehall, 


about on the site of the South Ferry, became the 
official residence of his successor, Governor Nicolls. 
A warm friendship sprang up between the genial 
Englishman and the gallant old Dutchman, and 
many were the toothsome dinners, well salted with 
wit and moistened with good Rhenish, of which 
NicoUs partook at the bowery. Stuyvesant was 
much interested in church affairs and in city 
improvements, and his venerable figure was one 
of the picturesque sights of the town. The long 
stormy day had a bright sunset. He died at the 
bowery in 1672, at the age of eighty, and was 
buried in the little church that stood just east of 
his house. The will of his widow, who died in 
1687, founded St. Mark's church, and upon the 
very same site the present church edifice was built 
in 1802. A tablet in its wall tells us that Peter 
Stuyvesant lies buried within. Memorials of him 
remain in sundry local names, and until lately 
there stood at the corner of Third Avenue and 
Thirteenth Street, encircled by an iron fence, a 
solitary pear-tree which he planted there on his 
return from Holland in 1667. After weathering 
two hundred winters it was crushed and blown 
down in the great snowstorm of February, 1867. 
A scion from it was afterward planted within the 
same railing, a pleasant testimony to the enduring 
interest which attaches to the memory of the noble, 
honest, headstrong, opinionated, generous, kindly, 
conscientious, eager, lion-hearted old soldier, under 
whose rule the greatest of American common- 
wealths first took on strength and assumed co- 
herent shape. Stuyvesant is one of the most 


picturesque figures of a strenuous and stirring 
time, none the less lovable and admirable because 
lie stood for principles of government that have 
become discredited. He was a sterling gentleman 
of the old stripe, of whom there have been many 
that have deserved well of mankind, loyal and 
sound to the core, but without a particle of respect 
for popular liberty or for what in these latter days 
are known as the '' rights of man." From such a 
standpoint the principles of Thomas Jefferson 
would have seemed fraught with ruin to the human 
race. This arbitrary theory of government has 
never flourished on the soil of the New World, 
and its career on Manhattan Island was one of its 
first and most significant failures.